November 27, 2013

The Richards Standard for ODI batsmen

Kartikeya Date
Which modern-day batsmen can match the speed and certainty of Viv Richards' run-making?
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Viv Richards scored a century every 15 innings in ODIs during an era when the norm was one every 61 innings
Viv Richards scored a century every 15 innings in ODIs during an era when the norm was one every 61 innings © Getty Images

One-day cricket has not seen a batsman dominate the way Bradman did in Tests. Viv Richards comes very close, though. In the Richards era, which ran from the beginnings of limited-overs internationals to the eve of inventions like the 30-yard circle, fielding restrictions and pinch-hitting, the average scoring rate for middle-order batsmen (3, 4, 5 and 6 in batting order) was 70 runs per 100 balls. Richards scored his runs at 90 runs per hundred balls. His ODI batting average at the end of his career was an even 47. A typical middle-order batsman averaged 30. ODI centuries were rare. During Richards' career, 80 ODI centuries were scored in 4921 innings in the middle order, one in every 61 innings. Richards made 11 in 166 innings, or one every 15 innings. Every sixth inning played in the middle order was worth 50 or more between 1975 and 1991. Richards made a half-century every three innings.

The speed and certainty of Richards' run-making in ODI cricket was unmatched in his day. The distance between his ability to produce runs in ODI cricket (leave alone the style in which he made them) and that of the typical ODI batsman remains, I suggest, unmatched to this day. He achieved the highest-ever rating in the ICC's ODI Player Ratings. But even Richards' career numbers, impressive as they are, do not convey the dominance of his play. His average over his first 100 ODI matches was 53, over his best stretch of 100 ODI matches, 58. His career record, like that of many great players in both formats - ODI and Tests - should be read by adding about five runs to his career average to get a true measure of how good he was. See the Test records of Miandad, Ponting, Tendulkar, Gavaskar and even Richards in the same way. At their peak, each of these batsmen averaged closer to 60 than 50.

When compared to the numbers produced by today's top batsmen, Richards' figures look less exceptional. Over admittedly shorter careers so far, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni have produced arguably more impressive figures than Viv Richards. The typical middle-order ODI batsman in the 1990s scored at 71 runs per 100 balls. In the 2000s, this rose to 75, in the 2010s it has risen further to 78. The batting average of the typical batsman has risen to 34 in the 2010s from 30 in Richards' era.

A fairer measure across eras is one that considers how far ahead of contemporaries a batsman is. Here is one way to make such a measure. This will form the basis of the Richards Standard for ODI batsmen, to go with the Bradman Standard for Test batsmen and the Barnes Standard for Test bowlers.

I propose that each batsman's performance in each innings is best measured by a Score that takes into account the batsman's run share (the fraction of the team's runs scored by the batsman), and scoring rate ratio (the ratio of the batsman's scoring rate in the innings, to the combined scoring rate for all the other runs in the innings). A batsman who is dismissed for 0 would have a Score of 0 for the match. A batsman's career score will be the average of all his match scores. Here are the career Scores of all ODI batsmen who made at least 9000 runs.

© Kartikeya Date

When have these players been at their peak? And how far ahead of their peers were they at their peak? I'll use 100 matches as the span for the Richards Standard. This is admittedly an arbitrary figure (101 or 99 of 108 would be just as reasonable, and I hope some of you readers will figure out a novel way to say which is more reasonable). I chose it because it typically takes about four or five years for a player to play 100 matches, a period long enough to account for more than just a blistering run of form (the kind Virat Kohli has been in recently).

This Richards Standard Score measures the importance of a batsman in ODI cricket in a given era. Important batsmen are central to a team's batting fortunes. It's harder for individual batsmen in strong batting outfits to be highly influential. Strong outfits can afford to lose the odd player for a series or two without suffering too much in terms of run output. In the tables below, I present the top 100 batsmen in terms of a 100-match Richards Standard Score. Each of these batsmen have played more than 100 games, and hence, have more than one sequence of 100 consecutive ODI matches. I consider their highest stretch, which is given by the start and end date.

These figures represents the period when each player has produced his highest score. Sachin Tendulkar, for example, has had more prolific 100-match stretches. His most prolific 100-match stretch was from April 7, 1998 to January 28, 2002, when he made 4796 runs. This is also the most prolific 100-match stretch for any batsman. But his Score during this phase was lower. The most remarkable figures in this list are those of Adam Gilchrist and Virender Sehwag, and to a lesser extent (given his low average), Sanath Jayasuriya. Sri Lanka, between 1996 and 2000, were not a big-scoring ODI team, but invariably managed to score enough runs for their Murali-led attack to defend. Gilchrist batted in a very successful Australian side from 2002 to 2006. The Indian side Sehwag played in between 2005 and 2011 was in a very successful phase after Ganguly had been replaced by Sehwag. It would lead India to the 2011 World Cup. The bulk of Sehwag's record was built up after his recall to the Indian side in 2008. The difference between South Africa and Bangladesh is clear when you compare Graeme Smith and Tamim Iqbal, who achieve the same Score. Smith averaged 12 runs more than Iqbal.

Some of the players who rank high in the list do so because the teams they played in were in decline. The West Indies sides Chris Gayle played in between 2006 and 2012 (an eventful period off the field for the Jamaican) had some top players like Chanderpaul, Sarwan and Samuels, but didn't have the authority of Gilchrist's Australian line-up or Sehwag's Indian line-up. The same can be said of Brian Lara during his period of domination. West Indies were a more successful side in the Lara phase than in the Gayle phase in my chart.

The most unfortunate batsman, in some ways, in the lists below is AB de Villiers. He has consistently produced astonishing numbers for South Africa. He bats in the shadow of Jacques Kallis and, to a lesser extent, Hashim Amla, and after a powerful South African top four, which limits his importance. Even so, he remains the highest-ranked South African on the list. Javed Miandad is the highest-ranked Pakistani player, while Allan Lamb is the highest-ranked Englishman. Brendon McCullum ranks higher than any other New Zealander.

If you were to ask the question: "Who are the most important ODI batsmen at a given time?", the charts above would give you a better answer than simple aggregates or averages or strike rates or century counts. The man after whom the standard is named remains the most important batsman in ODI history.

© Kartikeya Date

© Kartikeya Date

© Kartikeya Date

© Kartikeya Date

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kartikeya on November 28, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Further, readers have pointed out the question of the quality of bowling. This perennially comes up. Each of these factors, like quality of bowling, quality of pitches, quality of outfield etc. do not have to be individually measured. The way I account for them is by comparing a player to what his teammates have done. Hence the use of the scoring rate ratio and the run share.

    The point of the analysis is to say that for a said period, a player was superior to his colleagues by a certain degree. Unless we think that international teams consist of random individual picked off the street, this is a meaningful comparison. It basically amounts to comparing Viv Richards to the 5 next best players in the caribbean at the time.

    The point of this standard is to complicated the usual questions about "Is A better than B", by showing how a player A's performance sits among that of his colleagues. As the comments suggest, I seem to have failed at this.

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Staistically Tendulkar maybe the best or 2nd to Viv Richards but my favourite one day batsman after Viv was Zaheer Abbas.I have never seen a batsmen with such an ability to improvise as Zaheer abbas nor a batsman with equally good timing.He would simply caress a ball to the boundary with the deftest of touches.Zaheer's average was 47.62 in O.D.I's which was remarkable.In later years dean Jones and Mark Waugh reflected the talent of Zaheer Abbas.

    When the chips were down in a run chase my choices would be Javed Miandad,Michael Bevan and Alan Lamb.All were masters in formulating match-winning innings in tight run -chases.

    In destructive ability Adam Gilchrist would come closest to Viv who literally blew the top off the ball closely followed by Virendra Sehwag.For consistency in match-winning Inzamam Ul Haq ,Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni came closest to the black genius.

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Viv Richards was an incomparable genius and even the Don would not have emulated Viv in the one day game.No batsmen ever has been more intimidating had quicker reflexes or a sharper eye.He simply strode with his bat on a cricket field with the majestic aura of an emperor.In full flow he made the impact of a bomber destroying an enemy airbase and made the opposing team's bowlers look like cattle walking to a slaughterhouse.Viv would make the rest of the field look like pawns on a chessboard and would simply direct the ball in any direction as though it was controlled by a machine.He brilliantly combined brutal power with infinite imagination.For his era his strike rate was phenomenal and he was the best match-winner of all time who could sinlgle-handedly turn a game.My favourite Viv innings was his 153n.o at the M.C.G in 1979-80 .

    Tendulkar had greater longevity or even Ponting but none could match Viv's change the complexion of a game like superman Viv Richards.

  • drjineesh on November 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Quite a nice read. A very convenient proposal to address the issue I guess. Very surprising still to find Steve Tikolo occupying a high position way ahead of say MSD, Pieterson, Inzamam, Yuvraj , Bevan, Ponting etc. Maybe it isnt that foolproof enough. I would like to know whether while calculating the scoring rate ratio; was only the teammates' rates considered or whether the rates of the opposition batsmen were included as well? I suppose the latter would be ideal as that would eliminate the one off players in a weak side, who may be giants within the team but just good enough in the international spectrum.

  • connoblehill on November 29, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Can't believe Botham does rate a mention?

  • on November 29, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    Viv is ultimate. He was the God father of ODI cricket. What we see today's improvisation was done long back by Viv. For me there is no words to express since I lived in his era and I have seen most of his matches. He was not only a brilliant batsmen,a classy fielder, intelligent bowler, a great captain above all his control over the match winning. I dont think no one can near him. In today's ODI events a cricketer easily play 200 to 300 ODI. Hence dont count the aggregate of a batsmen look on his match winning performances. Viva Viv!

  • Sorcerer on November 28, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    Richards never played against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe or Kenya. Tendulkar has, many times. Richards era saw fresher and faster bowlers as compared to at the turn of the century.

  • on November 28, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    Why bowlers of that era are not compared? In Viv days some of the finest bowlers were present including Lilee, Imran, Kapil dev, Wasim Akram etc. But he demolished every attack he faced. Even now in ICC Ranking Saeed Ajmal is the number one bowler but can he be compared to Abdul Qadir or Bishan Singh Bedi? In fast bowlers category none of the current era bowlers can be compared with bowlers of that era, but still viv was devastating. I want to quote Imran Khan words as my final verdict, "I have never faced or even seen anybody even close to as destructive as viv". According to world's best empire dicky bird viv would be his no 3 in any team without a shadow of doubt, he used to murder opponent's attack.

  • Diaz54 on November 28, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Viv in my view best player of my watching career during which we have had Tendulkar, bc Lara, pointing, and others. Viv is different league...statics alone do not explain it. His authority and total arrogance was unbelievable...the greatest! Riaz

  • kartikeya on November 28, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    The chart is sorted by Score, but it also provides batting average. As you will have noticed, the Score, given the way it is calculated, gives a sense of not just a player's performance relative to his teammates, but also of his performance relative to the circumstances. Take two examples:

    One: 25(25) out of 200 (300) 100 (100) out of 200 (300) 50(50) out of 250(300)

    Two: 0(1) out of 200(300) 50(50) out of 200(300) 125(100) out of 250(300)

    In both cases, the batsman would average 58 over those three innings. Team totals in each case are identical. In Case One, batsman's Score would be 0.393, while in Case Two, it would be 0.375.

    There is a lot to be interpreted in these tables.

    I considered the best 100 match stretch for each player because I think this is a reasonable way of roughly identifying the player's peak phase.

  • kartikeya on November 28, 2013, 4:37 GMT

    Further, readers have pointed out the question of the quality of bowling. This perennially comes up. Each of these factors, like quality of bowling, quality of pitches, quality of outfield etc. do not have to be individually measured. The way I account for them is by comparing a player to what his teammates have done. Hence the use of the scoring rate ratio and the run share.

    The point of the analysis is to say that for a said period, a player was superior to his colleagues by a certain degree. Unless we think that international teams consist of random individual picked off the street, this is a meaningful comparison. It basically amounts to comparing Viv Richards to the 5 next best players in the caribbean at the time.

    The point of this standard is to complicated the usual questions about "Is A better than B", by showing how a player A's performance sits among that of his colleagues. As the comments suggest, I seem to have failed at this.

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    Staistically Tendulkar maybe the best or 2nd to Viv Richards but my favourite one day batsman after Viv was Zaheer Abbas.I have never seen a batsmen with such an ability to improvise as Zaheer abbas nor a batsman with equally good timing.He would simply caress a ball to the boundary with the deftest of touches.Zaheer's average was 47.62 in O.D.I's which was remarkable.In later years dean Jones and Mark Waugh reflected the talent of Zaheer Abbas.

    When the chips were down in a run chase my choices would be Javed Miandad,Michael Bevan and Alan Lamb.All were masters in formulating match-winning innings in tight run -chases.

    In destructive ability Adam Gilchrist would come closest to Viv who literally blew the top off the ball closely followed by Virendra Sehwag.For consistency in match-winning Inzamam Ul Haq ,Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni came closest to the black genius.

  • harshthakor on December 1, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Viv Richards was an incomparable genius and even the Don would not have emulated Viv in the one day game.No batsmen ever has been more intimidating had quicker reflexes or a sharper eye.He simply strode with his bat on a cricket field with the majestic aura of an emperor.In full flow he made the impact of a bomber destroying an enemy airbase and made the opposing team's bowlers look like cattle walking to a slaughterhouse.Viv would make the rest of the field look like pawns on a chessboard and would simply direct the ball in any direction as though it was controlled by a machine.He brilliantly combined brutal power with infinite imagination.For his era his strike rate was phenomenal and he was the best match-winner of all time who could sinlgle-handedly turn a game.My favourite Viv innings was his 153n.o at the M.C.G in 1979-80 .

    Tendulkar had greater longevity or even Ponting but none could match Viv's change the complexion of a game like superman Viv Richards.

  • drjineesh on November 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Quite a nice read. A very convenient proposal to address the issue I guess. Very surprising still to find Steve Tikolo occupying a high position way ahead of say MSD, Pieterson, Inzamam, Yuvraj , Bevan, Ponting etc. Maybe it isnt that foolproof enough. I would like to know whether while calculating the scoring rate ratio; was only the teammates' rates considered or whether the rates of the opposition batsmen were included as well? I suppose the latter would be ideal as that would eliminate the one off players in a weak side, who may be giants within the team but just good enough in the international spectrum.

  • connoblehill on November 29, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Can't believe Botham does rate a mention?

  • on November 29, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    Viv is ultimate. He was the God father of ODI cricket. What we see today's improvisation was done long back by Viv. For me there is no words to express since I lived in his era and I have seen most of his matches. He was not only a brilliant batsmen,a classy fielder, intelligent bowler, a great captain above all his control over the match winning. I dont think no one can near him. In today's ODI events a cricketer easily play 200 to 300 ODI. Hence dont count the aggregate of a batsmen look on his match winning performances. Viva Viv!

  • Sorcerer on November 28, 2013, 20:35 GMT

    Richards never played against Bangladesh or Zimbabwe or Kenya. Tendulkar has, many times. Richards era saw fresher and faster bowlers as compared to at the turn of the century.

  • on November 28, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    Why bowlers of that era are not compared? In Viv days some of the finest bowlers were present including Lilee, Imran, Kapil dev, Wasim Akram etc. But he demolished every attack he faced. Even now in ICC Ranking Saeed Ajmal is the number one bowler but can he be compared to Abdul Qadir or Bishan Singh Bedi? In fast bowlers category none of the current era bowlers can be compared with bowlers of that era, but still viv was devastating. I want to quote Imran Khan words as my final verdict, "I have never faced or even seen anybody even close to as destructive as viv". According to world's best empire dicky bird viv would be his no 3 in any team without a shadow of doubt, he used to murder opponent's attack.

  • Diaz54 on November 28, 2013, 16:36 GMT

    Viv in my view best player of my watching career during which we have had Tendulkar, bc Lara, pointing, and others. Viv is different league...statics alone do not explain it. His authority and total arrogance was unbelievable...the greatest! Riaz

  • kartikeya on November 28, 2013, 16:20 GMT

    The chart is sorted by Score, but it also provides batting average. As you will have noticed, the Score, given the way it is calculated, gives a sense of not just a player's performance relative to his teammates, but also of his performance relative to the circumstances. Take two examples:

    One: 25(25) out of 200 (300) 100 (100) out of 200 (300) 50(50) out of 250(300)

    Two: 0(1) out of 200(300) 50(50) out of 200(300) 125(100) out of 250(300)

    In both cases, the batsman would average 58 over those three innings. Team totals in each case are identical. In Case One, batsman's Score would be 0.393, while in Case Two, it would be 0.375.

    There is a lot to be interpreted in these tables.

    I considered the best 100 match stretch for each player because I think this is a reasonable way of roughly identifying the player's peak phase.

  • contrast_swing on November 28, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Nice effort but it is unfair to compare openers with middle order batsmen. The problem with the whole approach is that just because one player is making runs he is taking the opportunity away from other players especially in the ODI when overs are limited to 50. If Sachin starts to bat as an opener it is pretty much impossible to a batsman at no. 5 to contribute 20% of the runs -- just because there is no time left. There is no simple way to correct for this bias.

    Perhaps the easy thing would be to condition it on the entry score or maybe the exit score. You could try to say that how much Viv score when he entered at the team score of 100-125 and so on...

    In any case comparing Viv with Sachin is not fair.

    But it is remarkable to see players with lesser averages and more contributions e.g. Azhar, deSilva, Kapil, Crowe....

  • on November 28, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    The theory clearly is well researched and presented and takes the emotion out of the argument. Well done. Viv was clearly a remarkable cricketer having faced Lillee, Thompson, Khan, Qadir, Bedi, Dev, Hadlee,Botham, Willis etc who were all great bowlers.

  • on November 28, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    Have I missed something? The article starts off with comparing richards' numbers with the averages of all other batsmen of that era. But the table is ultimately based on comparisons of a batsman's figures with his own teammates. Of course, standout batsmen in weaker teams will rank above players such as Ponting or Devilliers. The Richards standard ends up becoming a measure of a player's importance in his own team, not of his worth as an ODI batsman in general

  • Niju_001 on November 28, 2013, 13:35 GMT

    @Karthikeya: I should say its a wonderful work. Lots of effort have been put into this work, which is certainly appreciated. But why only limited matches played by a player is considered? Why not take their entire career? As some pointed out Steven Tikolo was the best batsmen Kenya has produced and they relied on him heavily. Obviously he scored at better rate and more runs compared to others, while Ponting was playing alongside some great batsmen. But still runs are runs and its not easy to score in international cricket. Viv Richards is simply the greatest ever ODI batsman in the history. He would still top even if you take this chart with their complete career runs.

  • on November 28, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    viv was and is the best batsman...he was brilliant, classy, different, aggressive and impactful....fullstop

  • IPSY on November 28, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    Mr Date, All these statistical shenanigans are not necessary to prove that Sir Don Bradman rule the world "PEERLESS", in Test Match Batting and Sir Viv Richards rule it "PEERLESS" in ODIs! Their records are straight, almost unblemished ones FROM BEGINNING TO END, that speak for themselves! They are the two pioneers as it relates to awesome batting in those two formats respectively; and have simply nothing to prove, as it relates to comparison with ANY other batsman! We need this type of analysis for the lesser mortals; especially when people like Nadeem Sharifuddin spews NONSENSE about SRT, who batted for 3 CONSECUTIVE YEARS; in 40 CONSECUTIVE INNINGS, trying to SCORE A SINGLE 100 and COULD NOT; and averaged in the low 30s! Nadeem, "4O INNINgGS IS EXACTLY HALF OF BRADMAN'S TOTAL CAREER TALLY in which he scored 29 TEST 100s, at AN AVERAGE OF 100! In addition, between 2004 and 2007, for nearly 4 CONSECUTIVE YEARS, SRT was only able to make runs against Bangladesh school boys bowling!

  • on November 28, 2013, 12:24 GMT

    Best Odi batsmen is SRT...2nd place belong to VIV...3rd is rickyponting...but if DHoni continues to play the way he is now playing for another 2 3 years.I.think he'll usurp VIV

  • gandabhai on November 28, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    @SOAF(ali khan) No dirty words , Viv and Ponting played in the two best ever teams in the world. So its a fact they didnt face their CHAMPION bowlers .Whats Sachin got to do with this anyway? Very Very touching . While were on Sachin . Just think for one minute about a stressfull time in your life . Them imagine having to go out and bat .Only Sachin could have scored heavily in that situation.Without that constant burden he had to endure he would have scored even more than he did.No other sportsperson has had to carry the expectation of a billion people whilst doing their work.

  • on November 28, 2013, 10:50 GMT

    But if you take who broke more world records in ODI batting, Jayasuriya comes first.

    Fastest ODI 50, Fastest ODDI 100 (Taken by Shahid Afridi later), Fastest ODI 150 (150 in 99 balls against England), Most runs in an ODI over (This was broken later) Most sixes in an ODI inning

    If you take contemporaries of Jayasuriya, Gilchrist and Sehwag, thgey never held any ODI records.

  • CricketFever11 on November 28, 2013, 9:00 GMT

    Waste of time to make this analysis and to read this analysis. There is only one VIV Richard. No one can match his power and arrogance. As simple as that.

  • amumtaz on November 28, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    What no Zaheer Abbas in there?

  • on November 28, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Kartikeya: For a "benchmark" we may either take Viv's entire career (like you did with Bradman) - or as if as you say you are attempting to find out an "A" game then a fewer innings will be required. Viv's 100 innings covered many years and tends to a longish side... 50 innings will perhaps be more accurate to judge an "A" game.

  • on November 28, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    Let all arguments cease. While Viv Richards was a great. The greatest ODI batsman ever is till now MS Dhoni followed by Sachin. MSD has completely mastered the art of batting in this format. The way he paces his innings is unmatched. He can explode with his shots at any time or go slow if the bowling is top. He has mastered an art and taken it to the next level from where Sachin left it.

  • kartikeya on November 28, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Thanks all for the comments. I will make two points. First, here is an example showing how the Score is calculated.

    Score = Run Share (RSh) x Scoring Rate Ratio (SRR) If a player makes 50% of the team's runs at twice the scoring rate of the remaining players (eg. team makes 200 in 300 balls, player makes 100 in 100 balls), he would have the following measures:

    RSh - 0.5 SRR (100/100)/(100/200) = 2 Score - 1.000

    Scoring a duck bring a Score of 0 for that innings.

    So if a player plays 2 innings in his career, one in which he scores 100(100) out of 200(300) and the other in which he scores 0(4) out of 250(300), his career Score would be average (1, 0) = 0.5.

    Second, it is wrong to conclude, as one reader has concluded that this analysis shows "Kapil Dev, Afridi and Steve Tikolo ahead of Ricky Ponting". It does not. What the table says is that in their respective best 100 innings stretches, Tikolo, Kapil and Afridi's teams depended more on them than Australia depended on Ponting.

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 28, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Very nice. I havent understood how the scoring rate and runs share were combined into a Score. Some very remarkable names there - Miandad was not far behind Richards, at his peak, in average at least. Jayasuriya averages 25% less than Tendulkar but his score is around 10% less only. What causes such a vast delta?

  • on November 28, 2013, 3:28 GMT

    While Viv was certainly Da Boss - the analysis misses a key point. Viv played his 100 games with some of the greatest bowlers in the era. The Windies attack from mid-late '70s through '86 - the attack was by far the greatest bowling attack of all time - Marshall, Garner, Holding, Roberts - plus Croft and Walsh. Surely this added a degree of support to Viv's batting - he could play freely secure in the knowledge that bowlers would do the job if needed. How does one take this into account? I am not sure - but surely some of Viv's greatness was made possible by Garner's unplayable deliveries, or Marshall's lethal brilliance.

  • on November 28, 2013, 3:10 GMT

    I think SRT200 Sachin Tendulkar is bench mark for any ODI batsman ever. Richards when played he knew by schedule that he is going to play 150 ODI matches in 15 years and he will get about 10 to 12 matches a year. SRT when he played he knew by schedule that he is going to play over 400 ODI matches in 20 years and he will get about 20 to 25 matches per year. SRT average of 44.5 while playing 465 ODI matches is amazing and mind blowing. His 100rds were amazing. His strike rate was good too.

    Richards like Bradman did not score even 40 % of SRT scores in both ODI and Test but still we take their yardstick in ODI and Test and not SRT.

    SRT is greatest cricketer ever born in history of cricket because of his records, consistancy and longativity never seen and acheived by any other player in history of cricket. He is best ever. not DON and not Viv. Please update your stats and facts before writing these unworthy lists where Ricky Ponting is at 50th position in the list

  • sk123 on November 28, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Kapil Dev, Afridi and Steve Tikolo ahead of Ricky Ponting explains this analysis. I would call it a waste of time!

  • obaidulmasum on November 27, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    Richard played ODI mostly in bigger ground than those which we see now. Moreover pitches were also very underprepared at that time. So I think if Viv had played today he would score more runs than he had got under his belt. Comparing Viv with modern greats actually means we dishonour him. So please show proper respect to this great man.

  • on November 27, 2013, 22:25 GMT

    I thought author is taking SRT's 100-match stretch from April 7, 1998 to January 28, 2002, when he made 4796 runs instead of 1995 to 1998...

    Let's cut this useless analysis and stick with the facts, these players play in real life and multiple things impact player, conditions, match, results etc....bring on another player with 400 match and 45 average..we will talk...SRT even with stats and power is the best in ODI...haters going to say what they want...

  • soaf on November 27, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    @gandabhai:dont disrespect true legend of viv richards by your dirty words of not playing great bowlers blah blah.Infact he was miles better when compared to sachin . Cricket is a game based on statistics but one can find the real worth of a player when he plays for his team rather than for his individual statistics .Sachin was no doubt the best batsmen of world but only statistics wise.he can never surpass likes of viv,hadley,imran,botham,warne,akram e.t.c.because all of them are match winners and mentally very tough.on these aspects i find sachin lagging far behind. Viv was the player who could destroy ball'in attacks even when WI was in dire straits and always with such aggression and class which unfortunately can never be seen.

  • swarzi on November 27, 2013, 19:06 GMT

    Mr Date, I was going to write an epistle to show you that I always have your disguised strategies covered; but, make a long story short: You remember that I told you, that you were agenda driven when you used Bradman's "total career 70 dismissals", instead of his "total career 82 inngs", for the Bradman Standard exercise? It's the same thing now again! You did this exercise by extrapolating "Derived Scores" for tabular comparisons. In the first column of your first table, instead of showing the 'Derived Scores' (the focus of the exercise), it showed batsmen aggregate scores! This is not conspiracy theory! I know that it was so arranged, that a particular player would not be the next to SRT, whom you had at the top - that's too close! In the second table though, the 'Derived Scores' are correctly placed in the first column, because Viv Richards is at the top of the table; SRT is second; and at least one player is between SRT and that same player who is in 4th place!

  • kartikeya on November 27, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    Thanks for pointing that out that tpjpower. I'll request a correction from the editor.

    Viv Richards, Sydney Barnes, Don Bradman and Joel Garner achieved the highest ever rating in the PWC Player Ratings (now the ICC Player Ratings). I'm working o n the Garner Standard for ODI bowlers. The rationale for using these player's records as the basis for this standard comes from PWC's prior analysis. The analysis is quite robust, given that Sydney Barnes is the only one of these three players whose record has been surpassed.

    The statistic is descriptive and aims to account for historical changes in scoring rates in ODI cricket. It is much harder to be as far ahead of one's teammates as Viv Richards was. But Richards' record also suggests that without him, the West Indies might not have been as dominant.

  • gandabhai on November 27, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Both Viv & Ponting played in CHAMPION teams for most of their carears. Their opponents usually expected to lose whenever they played against them thus making it easier for them to to dominate . They also didnt have to play against the best team( Not just best bowlers ) of their generation because they were in that team.

  • on November 27, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Why don't you try the analysis with the number of innings Viv has played. You did one with 80 innings for Bradman.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on November 27, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    As you have mentioned, Viv's average dropped to 47 from 53 by the time he finished (189 matches). Had he played more, he would had averaged less than Sachin.

    Murali & Warne are the greatest bowlers of all times, even though George Lohmann averages far better, even compared to his contemporaries.

  • on November 27, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    not worthy..doesn't do justice to Viv either. Don is statistically far superior to everyone who has played the game till now. same can't be said of Viv. So how can you come up with some index in his name as a baseline ?

  • on November 27, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    It should be kept in mind that the highest-ever ratings in the ICC's Player Ratings are cumulative ratings. So, like Tendulkar, if a player had a poor start to his career this will create a drag on the Peak rating. Viv zoomed off the blocks. The same applies to the Test peak ratings - Better if you can calculate your own rating using just their peaks as you have attempted to do.

  • on November 27, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    it shows how funny is this Richards standard score by giving the no 51 for Michal Beven. and where is Shahid Afridi? what a batasman when Afrridi was in his best? No doubt that Richards was the best batsman in his era and all time as well. but other batsman should be given the fare share to them.

  • its.rachit on November 27, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Why do you need to add 5 runs to Viv's average ?? infact one shud remove atleast 5-8 runs from his average ... reasons 1- he played for West indies, so he did not play against the best bowliong of his era and given the strength of WI batting, he was hardly under presure 2 - he played almost half of his matches in the 60 overs a side era ... 3 - till the mid 80s, most sides treated ODI like test matches for the first 20 odd overs ... 3 slip, gully, etc ... so scoring options were plenty for someone like richards ... P.S. I am not saying Richards is not the best ODI batsmen of all time ... he wud be at max no.2 in anyone's list if not no.1 ... but the arguments and stats do not really prove anything ...

  • Bonehead_maz on November 27, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @ Kasun Arunoda Pathirana. Sydney Francis Barnes. 27 Tests, 189 wickets @ 16.43 S/r 41.6 ..... 24 x 5 wicket hauls in 50 bowling innings. LOL , yes he was a bit before the two you mentioned (played tests 1901 - 1914).

  • tpjpower on November 27, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Great analysis. Just a note - you mention Brendon McCullum is the highest-ranked NZ batsman, whereas Martin Crowe is seemingly rated ahead of him.

  • on November 27, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    No offense, but Barnes standard for test bowling? he he who? May be because Murali and Warney are still young or something...lol

  • Bonehead_maz on November 27, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Very interesting measurement. I am amazed at just how quickly Ganguly and even SRT's highest rating 100 matches were played. Less than 3 years is incredible ! Over 14 years for Botham's and rating so highly despite the lowest aggregate by some distance. :) Thankfully for NZ cricket history Crowe actually sneaks in front of McCullum ? (albeit at a lesser average). What an important player Kapil Dev was for his team ! Some other "gems" like Sidhu next to Inzi - never would have expected that !

    Thanks for a break from wondering about the sanity of various selectors, coaches, broadcasters and international cricket bodies - what a circus !

  • Tova on November 27, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    I've watched cricket for over 30 years now and Viv Richards is simply the best batsman I've seen and the batsman I wished I could bat like... I've never seen anyone like him. Absolute legend.

  • Tova on November 27, 2013, 9:19 GMT

    I've watched cricket for over 30 years now and Viv Richards is simply the best batsman I've seen and the batsman I wished I could bat like... I've never seen anyone like him. Absolute legend.

  • Bonehead_maz on November 27, 2013, 9:25 GMT

    Very interesting measurement. I am amazed at just how quickly Ganguly and even SRT's highest rating 100 matches were played. Less than 3 years is incredible ! Over 14 years for Botham's and rating so highly despite the lowest aggregate by some distance. :) Thankfully for NZ cricket history Crowe actually sneaks in front of McCullum ? (albeit at a lesser average). What an important player Kapil Dev was for his team ! Some other "gems" like Sidhu next to Inzi - never would have expected that !

    Thanks for a break from wondering about the sanity of various selectors, coaches, broadcasters and international cricket bodies - what a circus !

  • on November 27, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    No offense, but Barnes standard for test bowling? he he who? May be because Murali and Warney are still young or something...lol

  • tpjpower on November 27, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    Great analysis. Just a note - you mention Brendon McCullum is the highest-ranked NZ batsman, whereas Martin Crowe is seemingly rated ahead of him.

  • Bonehead_maz on November 27, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @ Kasun Arunoda Pathirana. Sydney Francis Barnes. 27 Tests, 189 wickets @ 16.43 S/r 41.6 ..... 24 x 5 wicket hauls in 50 bowling innings. LOL , yes he was a bit before the two you mentioned (played tests 1901 - 1914).

  • its.rachit on November 27, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    Why do you need to add 5 runs to Viv's average ?? infact one shud remove atleast 5-8 runs from his average ... reasons 1- he played for West indies, so he did not play against the best bowliong of his era and given the strength of WI batting, he was hardly under presure 2 - he played almost half of his matches in the 60 overs a side era ... 3 - till the mid 80s, most sides treated ODI like test matches for the first 20 odd overs ... 3 slip, gully, etc ... so scoring options were plenty for someone like richards ... P.S. I am not saying Richards is not the best ODI batsmen of all time ... he wud be at max no.2 in anyone's list if not no.1 ... but the arguments and stats do not really prove anything ...

  • on November 27, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    it shows how funny is this Richards standard score by giving the no 51 for Michal Beven. and where is Shahid Afridi? what a batasman when Afrridi was in his best? No doubt that Richards was the best batsman in his era and all time as well. but other batsman should be given the fare share to them.

  • on November 27, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    It should be kept in mind that the highest-ever ratings in the ICC's Player Ratings are cumulative ratings. So, like Tendulkar, if a player had a poor start to his career this will create a drag on the Peak rating. Viv zoomed off the blocks. The same applies to the Test peak ratings - Better if you can calculate your own rating using just their peaks as you have attempted to do.

  • on November 27, 2013, 16:44 GMT

    not worthy..doesn't do justice to Viv either. Don is statistically far superior to everyone who has played the game till now. same can't be said of Viv. So how can you come up with some index in his name as a baseline ?

  • Amit_4_Sachin on November 27, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    As you have mentioned, Viv's average dropped to 47 from 53 by the time he finished (189 matches). Had he played more, he would had averaged less than Sachin.

    Murali & Warne are the greatest bowlers of all times, even though George Lohmann averages far better, even compared to his contemporaries.