November 30, 2013

Tendulkar's Test career: into uncharted waters

An objective statistical analysis of Sachin Tendulkar's Test career
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Sachin Tendulkar saw a few ups and downs during his Test career. © BCCI

In this second part of Sachin Tendulkar's career, I will look at Tendulkar's Test career. This follows the first part, which concentrated on ODIs. I emphasise that this will also go off the much-traversed path. These have been two really tough articles, trying to do proper justice to two great careers, and have taken a lot out of me. I look forward to some complex articles, but easier to handle, in the weeks to come.

There was one problem with the first article. Quite a few readers skipped the graphs and tables, moved on to the last paragraphs and bang came their beamers. This time, if they do it, they have a surprise waiting at the end. I request the readers to take the time to read the article in its entirety before coming out with their comments.

Tendulkar's Test career graph

I liked the graphical representation of Tendulkar's ODI career a lot and have repeated the same here. Many people have done the graph of actual innings scores. However this is based on the Career-to-date figures and offers clearer insights. Instead of strike rates I have used the important metric of career-to-date balls-per-innings (BPI). The link is the strike rate.

This graph is quite unlike the ODI one where, after the initial low-profile period, Tendulkar picked his average up quite quickly (relative to his remaining career), and then reached a plateau and virtually stayed there for the last 250 matches or so. That is quite unlike the usual bell curve of a typical batsman. Here, in tests, the graph movement is far more complex.

After a lacklustre opening period, Tendulkar moved up into a good performance zone. Then he dropped off quite steeply. Afterwards there was a long period of dominance, the golden era of Tendulkar's batting. Then there was one more slump, which everyone thought was a career-ending drop. To his eternal credit, he got a third wind and almost touched the mid-career peaks again around 2010-11. Finally the inevitable slump happened and Tendulkar finished well off his glittering top values. The last slope in the curve is clearly visible.

The BPI movement has been even more up-down-up-down type. In general it seems to match the average movements. Because of the number of matches/innings played, the changes are clearer in the career-segment graph displayed later.

The career-high batting average value was reached in Test #1599 during the Indian tour of West Indies in 2002. At the end of the first innings score of 117, Tendulkar's career average was 59.17. By an amazing coincidence, the career-high BPI value also reached its peak at this very point. The 260-ball innings pushed the career-to-date BPI value to 97.54. These places are marked with dots on the graphs.

Ignoring the first-ten Tests, the career-low batting average value was reached in Test #1180 during India's tour of Australia of 1991. At the end of the first innings score of 15, Tendulkar's career average was 34.78. This time there has been a slight change. The BPI value reached its lowest level during Test #1200 during the Indian tour of South Africa of 1992. The 24-ball innings pushed the career-todate BPI value down to 71.26.

Tendulkar's Test career graph - split into 6 parts

I have divided Tendulkar's Test career into six parts, unlike the ODI graphs where I had opted for five parts. The reasons are special to Tendulkar's career, which unlike that of most players, was not a bell-shaped career, as already explained. His middle Tests consisted of two totally variant halves because of the injury and loss of form during the early 2000s. Hence I decided to split the career into six parts. The first-two having 33 Tests each, the middle-two having 34 Tests each and the final-two, 33 Tests each. It is also a fact that 33 Tests require around four years and represent a sufficiently long period for analysis.

Tendulkar's Test graph is a complete contrast to his ODI graph. There he went to the peak and virtually plateaued just below that for the rest of his career. In Tests, he had a good start, and then moved up rapidly in the second segment. From low averaging in low 50s and BPI of 88, he moved up to an average of 58 and BPI of 97. There begins the Tendulkar golden era. In the next 34 Tests, he averaged 64 and had BPI of 101. This is the only period in which he exceeded 100 balls per innings. His strike rate also improved.

Then came the fall. In the next 34 Tests, his average dropped by 19 runs, and more alarmingly, his BPI figure fell alarmingly to 78. This means that he was playing 23 balls less per innings. The strike rate also dropped by ten-percent. The double blow almost raised fears of a career close. However the fifth segment was something from the fantasy world. Tendulkar found the inner strength to increase his strike rate by 10% and the average BPI by 15%. The combined effect was a restoration of the average to a majestic 56. This period ended in 2010.

There is no doubt that the last period, especially the last 15 Tests, was well below the high standards expected of Tendulkar. Both strike rate and BPI dropped: leading to a low average of 45.81. But wait a moment. To my knowledge, Tendulkar carried his good form of 2010 for some time beyond. I remember the couple of double-hundreds. So this is clearly not a single homogeneous period of 33 Tests. There are two sub-periods which are at a great variance to each other. If this can be split into two sub-groups of 16-17 Tests each, we will get a clearer insight. Let me do that and we will see the numbers after the table.

SRT: Career analysis - split into 6 parts
FromToInnsNotOutsRunsBallsAvgeS/RBpI
1 33 47 52142419051.0051.1 89.1
34 66 54 42849517156.9055.1 95.8
67100 59 63414599764.4256.9101.6
101134 55 72185428845.5251.0 78.0
135167 58 72949525157.8256.2 90.5
168200 56 42382455345.8152.3 81.3
Split
168184 30 31644317860.8951.7105.9
185200 26 1 738137529.5253.6 52.9

Ah! Now we get the important split of the last 33-Test period. In the first 17 Tests of this period, Tendulkar performed at even better than his fifth period performance. An increase of average by 4, a huge increase in the balls played per innings, albeit at a slightly more sedate pace. The last 15 Tests were something else. He went below 50% of the previous sub-period in average and BPI. The strike rate was fine, even better. So it is this halving of balls per innings in the last 15 Tests, which caused the slump. But really it does not matter. All players go through form drops at the end of their careers and Tendulkar was no exception. It would be silly on the part of anyone to say that he should have retired at the end of his 185th Test because, the great player that he is, he wanted to give it a game try. And quit when he realised that there was no comeback. Although, one must admit in ODIs he maintained the high plateau level right to the end.

SRT: Head-to-head confrontations
BowlerTypeBallsRunsWktsBpWAvgeS/R
MG JohnsonLF5022503167.3 83.3 49.8
PL Harrislsp4411543147.0 51.3 34.9
B LeeRF4322425 86.4 48.4 56.0
M Muralitharanrob3661966 61.0 32.7 53.6
JM AndersonRFM3502089 38.9 23.1 59.4
AF Gileslsp3481251348.0125.0 35.9
A FlintoffRF3421332171.0 66.5 38.9
DL Vettorilsp314 953104.7 31.7 30.3
DW SteynRF3101493103.3 49.7 48.1
MS Panesarlsp3041494 76.0 37.2 49.0
MJ HoggardRFM2921823 97.3 60.7 62.3
Mohammad SamiRF2871271287.0127.0 44.3
Mohammad Rafiquelsp2831401283.0140.0 49.5
GP Swannrob2791504 69.8 37.5 53.8
Danish Kaneriarlb2691511269.0151.0 56.1
M DillonRFM2671632133.5 81.5 61.0
BW HilfenhausRFM2501610250.0161.0 64.4
----------
PM SiddleRFM2161414 54.0 35.2 65.3
M MorkelRF1901391190.0139.073.2
GB Hogglws1541380138.0154.089.6
CT TremlettRM194 591194.0 59.030.4
Shoaib AkhtarRF140 792 70.0 39.556.4
NM Lyonrob1961154 49.0 28.858.7
M NtiniRF154 944 38.5 23.561.0

I have already done an overall analysis of the head-to-head confrontations between batsmen and bowlers for matches after Test #1546. This included a peripheral look at Tendulkar. In this article I will be looking at the Tendulkar-Bowler confrontations in depth. The table is ordered on the number of balls bowled by the bowler (to Tendulkar).

Mitchell Johnson has bowled the maximum number of balls to Tendulkar. However it is clear that Tendulkar had the real measure of Johnson. Only three dismissals in over 500 balls at a reasonable strike rate confirm that. Paul Harris has kept Tendulkar quiet but has taken a wicket only once every 25 overs. The Lee-Tendulkar confrontation has been a draw. Brett Lee has dismissed Tendulkar every 14 overs but has also conceded quite a few runs. The Steyn-Tendulkar match up has to be called a success for Tendulkar. Considering that Dale Steyn captured a wicket every 42 balls in his career, his 103 balls per Tendulkar wicket is certainly favourable to Tendulkar, even conceding the fact that these are top-order wickets.

Now we come to the two bowlers who have really got the better of Tendulkar. Muttiah Muralitharan has dismissed Tendulkar every 61 balls and James Anderson, every 39 balls. Anderson has also been the most successful bowler against Tendulkar, accounting for nine of his dismissals. Ashley Giles, another left arm spinner like Harris, has had very little success against Tendulkar but has kept him very quiet. A single dismissal in the 58 overs Giles bowled to Tendulkar. And look at Daniel Vettori's economy rate against Tendulkar. Monty Panesar has had more success but does not have the low economy rate of the other left arm spinners.

The latter entries have been shown to highlight the outliers. Morne Morkel and Brad Hogg have been taken to the cleaners by Tendulkar. Surprisingly Chris Tremlett has almost the best economy rate against Tendulkar, rivalling Vettori's figures. Shoaib Akhtar had reasonable success against Tendulkar. Quite surprisingly Nathan Lyon had very good figures against Tendulkar, probably because he caught him during his declining years. But Makhaya Ntini has had a lot of success, matching Anderson's figures, and is the most successful bowler against Tendulkar.

The summary is that the right arm fast bowlers have been relatively more successful against Tendulkar while the left arm spinners kept him quiet but could not make much headway. The off-spinners have been quite successful: mainly Muralitharan, Graeme Swann and Lyon. Tendulkar faced only one left-arm pace bowler of note and handled him quite well. Let us not forget that this covers 116 of the 200 Tests Tendulkar played.

Table listing High Score Index of top batsmen
BatsmanAvgBatPosInnsTSTSPts2TS2TSPtsTotPtsHSI
1-2-3 batsmen
DG Bradman3.65 80 30 56.114 10.0 66.10.8268
BC Lara3.77230 65143.034 22.6165.60.7201
L Hutton1.23138 39 82.822 16.6 99.30.7196
JB Hobbs1.20102 31 55.719 13.7 69.50.6810
SM Gavaskar1.26214 60110.630 21.9132.50.6193
WR Hammond3.66140 40 73.117 13.0 86.10.6149
GA Gooch1.46215 50 99.433 23.8123.20.5729
H Sutcliffe1.06 84 25 38.712 9.0 47.80.5686
V Sehwag1.30178 38 88.420 12.8101.20.5685
KC Sangakkara3.02200 48 90.431 22.1112.50.5626
4-5-6 batsmen
KF Barrington4.04131 38 73.625 18.1 91.70.7000
ED Weekes4.15 81 21 43.014 9.6 52.70.6500
A Flower5.03112 28 50.317 11.9 62.20.5556
PA de Silva4.38159 35 67.824 15.1 82.90.5212
S Chanderpaul4.84255 54 91.458 39.1130.40.5115
Mohammad Yousuf4.64156 30 57.629 20.6 78.20.5012
IVA Richards4.16182 42 75.523 15.1 90.60.4981
SR Tendulkar4.24329 78133.643 30.0163.60.4974
DJ Cullinan4.15115 22 44.120 13.1 57.20.4974
DCS Compton4.34131 29 50.022 15.0 65.00.4960

I liked this work which I had done in my previous article analysing the occasions when a batsman had top-scored or put up the second top-score. I have explained this here to keep in the picture those who missed the ODI article.

When a batsman top scores in a Test 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 & 100 and 108 & 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 4000 Test runs and have a batting average of 25 or higher.

The one tweak I have done for Tests is to recognize that the batsmen who have batted at the top-order (batting positions No. 1 to No. 3) for most of their careers have a significant advantage in finishing with the top or next score. Hence, I have presented this data in the form of two tables, using the 'average batting position' (ABP) value of 4 as a separation point. Those with an ABP value of below 4 have batted in 1-2-3 more often than in lower positions while those with ABP exceeding 4.0 have batted in positions 4 or later more often. This enables to look at this table in a better way.

The highest HSI in ODIs was Hashim Amla's 0.673. It is to be expected that the Test scene would be quite different. The innings are longer and there is no limit to the number of overs. Hence this would allow for greater variations between the top score and the next highest one. This is confirmed by the numbers. Let us first look at the category of top-order batsmen. It is no surprise that Don Bradman tops the table with a HSI value of 0.826. He top scored in 30 of his 80 innings and was the next highest one in another 14. It is also not a surprise that Brian Lara is in the second place, by a hairs-breadth from Len Hutton. It is an open secret that Lara carried his team for a long time and was either the top-scorer or the next best scorer in 99 innings. Then England's duo of Hutton and Jack Hobbs follow. Sunil Gavaskar is right up there with an excellent HSI value of 0.619. Surprisingly Virender Sehwag, for all the attacking batsman-ship he essayed, is present in the top-ten.

Now we come to the middle-order (batting positions No. 4 to No. 6) batsmen. Ken Barrington tops the table with a HSI value of 0.700. Everton Weekes, playing in a strong team and Andy Flower, playing in a weak team, occupy the next two places. There is no surprise at the next three, who were the premier middle-order batsmen of their teams: Aravinda de Silva, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Mohammad Yousuf.

Enter the two batsmen who dominated the ODI game, Viv Richards and Tendulkar. Both Richards and Tendulkar have HSI values just below 0.5, indicating that they did not really lead the Test scene for their country as they dominated the ODI arena. The strong batting line-ups have also contributed to this. In Tendulkar's case, it is clear that he would get less opportunity to be a top-scorer in an innings since he batted at no.4 or later in 328 of his 329 innings. There were three batsmen ahead of him with a head-start.

The HSI is a fascinating metric and will require a separate article, incorporating important tweaks suggested by readers. The mean-determination basis has to be changed. Also there is a case for keeping the top-scorer at 1.0 and all others, a subset of this value. This will avoid the two independent computations.

SRT: Non overlapping 10-Test streaks: Top 3 & bottom 3
Starting TestYearInnsNOsRunsBallsAvgeS/R100s50s
16220091621323227594.5058.265
7119991811177198069.2459.445
5419971611136178875.7363.561
...
1872012161 337 69722.4748.402
1262005161 387 78625.8049.202
111990161 508 96733.8752.530

In this table I have looked at the three-best streaks and three-worst streaks in Tendulkar's career. These are ten-Test streaks and non-overlapping.

The best streak of ten Tests was from Tendulkar's 162nd match played during 2009, his golden return period. In ten Tests he scored 1323 runs at a good scoring rate of 58.2. The average was 94.50, 90% higher than his career average. The sequence of his scores reads 53, 105*, 16, 143, 7, 100, 106, 8, 84, 203, 41, 54, 98, 38, 214 and 53*. One heck of a sequence indeed. Six centuries, two of them of the double, in ten Tests. India's won-draw-loss (W-D-L) record in these Tests was a very impressive 7-1-2. Of course, we cannot ignore the contributions of the other players.

In the second best-streak, India's W-D-L record was a surprising 2-2-6, despite Tendulkar's stellar contributions. These were the days when he fought the battles almost single-handedly. In the third one, the record was again 2-5-3, somewhat similar to the second one.

The worst streak of ten Tests was from Tendulkar's 187th match played during 2012, his winding down period. In ten Tests he scored 337 runs at an average scoring rate of 48.4. The average was 22.47, 60% lower than his career average. The sequence of his scores reads 15, 8, 25, 13, 19, 17, 27, 13, 8, 8, 76, 5, 2, 81, 13* and 7. A disastrous sequence with two fifties in ten Tests. India's won-draw-loss record was a reasonable 5-1-4, indicating that Tendulkar's non-contribution was compensated by the efforts of the other players quite effectively.

A simpler analysis of Tendulkar's career reveals that the 20 sequential ten-Test slices reveal run accumulations of 577, 508, 878, 697, 778, 906, 1036, 1177, 1038, 810, 559, 915, 551, 720, 727, 1000, 1096, 878, 682 and 358 runs. Thus he has scored 1000 runs or more in five of these slices. There were also five occasions when fewer than 600 runs were scored.

This sub-analysis also indicates the importance of getting good support from team-mates. The team did much better in later years, even with Tendulkar's non-contribution, than when he played his heart out, during the earlier years.

SRT: In difficult entry situations (Worse than 74/2, 115/3, 155/4 or 191/5)
Innings classificationInnsRunsAvge
Real failures715447.7
Failures2157227.2
Reasonable Inns2291141.4
Good Inns33232670.5
Outstanding Inns212987142.2
Total168734043.7

This is the first time I have attempted an analysis of this type. Look at how a batsman coped when he arrived at a somewhat difficult situation. As such this is still a rough stone and needs some polishing. Also I have not done this across batsmen. In which position the batsman batted at is quite relevant. I have looked at it only from the angle of Tendulkar. Hence we cannot do any comparisons. We have to draw any conclusions by looking at the figures in isolation. I have also avoided complicating the situation evaluation methodology. Not easy to do that effectively. With this introduction let us go on to the analysis itself.

First let us get some facts in. In the 329 innings Tendulkar took guard, he batted at opening once, never at No. 3, 275 times at No. 4, 30 times at No. 5, 19 times at No. 6 and four times at No. 7. So the no.4 position matters the most.

I have worked on the assumption that if a batsman walks in at team scores which are worse than 74 for 2, 115 for 3, 155 for 4 and 191 for 5, the situation is not particularly good. How have these "magic numbers" appeared? On a sound basis, I can assure all. As part of our comprehensive Player contribution work, Milind and I have developed the resource available at the fall of each wicket by analysing all 2100+ matches. The relevant numbers are 87.9% at the fall of first wicket, 75.2% at the fall of the second wicket, 61.6% at the end of the third wicket, 48.3% at the fall of the fourth wicket and 36.3% at the end of the fifth wicket. I have used 300 as a minimum expectation of the innings score and derived these values. It does not mean that if the score was 75 for 2, it is very much better than 74 for 2. But we have to draw the line somewhere and can be improved as suggestions come in. 74 is not a magic number but a starting point.

Let us look at 45 for 2. Whether on the opening day, facing a first innings of 250 or 400, batting in the third innings 100 behind or ahead or chasing a target of 150 or 300, this is not a good position to get in. The No. 4 batsman has to work with the batsman at crease to re-build the innings. Same is true for the other scenarios. As I write this, Australia's first innings at the Gabba is under way. Michael Clarke got in at 71 for 2, which is not a great situation. However, when Clarke was dismissed, Steven Smith walked in at a difficult situation of 72 for 3; George Bailey came in at a far more difficult situation of 88 for 4.

In his career Tendulkar walked into 175 such situations. The complete details are in the downloadable document. Seven of these situations can be ignored. In four cases Tendulkar remained not out in won matches. In two other innings India was going for a declaration in the third innings and Tendulkar played cameos as per team needs. That leaves us with 168 innings, nearly 50% of the Tendulkar's career tally.

Out of these 168, Tendulkar played outstanding innings above 100, 21 times. In all these occasions India recovered quite well. In 33 other innings Tendulkar crossed 50. All these innings laid the foundation for recovery. In 22 other innings, Tendulkar went past 35 and stemmed the rot. So it can be argued that Tendulkar performed quite effectively in 76 of these innings. This is around 45% of the difficult situations.

The other 92 occasions represent failures at different levels. 71 of these were real failures, averaging 7.9 runs per innings and 21 were slightly better but he averaged around 27. Let us not forget that these are all dismissals. That means, in a match such as #1335, Tendulkar came in at 25 for 2 and India needed 58 to win. Tendulkar was out for 0 but India won comfortably. But this is treated as a failure, correctly.

Finally the fact that 21 of Tendulkar's 51 hundreds were scored in difficult situations is very important. Let me emphasize that these are just facts presented without any conclusions. There is no comparison made with anyone since the base varies.

Finally, something from my heart. I have given below, with brief phrasal comments because of the length of the article, my favourite Tendulkar innings, not in any particular sequence. For those who feel that these innings deserve outpourings from the heart rather than single-phrase aphorisms, let me plead guilty and point to the length of the article.

114*: 1992-1186-Perth. In the teens, off a top bowling attack, the highest score of the match.
116 : 1999-1479-MCG. Similar to the Perth innings. Probably better and against a better attack. No one else did no nothing, as the Americans would say.
241*: 2004-1680-SCG. A classic. Possibly Tendulkar's best Test innings. A tactical masterpiece.
119*: 1990-1149-Manchester. 17 years and a few days. Match-saving innings. Amongst Tendulkar's best.
122 : 1996-1327-Birmingham. 17 for 2 through 68 for 5 to 219 all out. No one crossed 20. A truly defiant effort.
111 : 1992-1201-Jo'Burg. Similar to Perth/MCG/Birmingham. Another teenage masterpiece. Next highest score 25.
146 : 2011-1988-Cape Town. A modern classic. Off a top-class attack. Genuine match-saver.
105*: 2010-1949-Chittagong. Match against Bangladesh? One of Tendulkar's best efforts ever. Without this innings, India would have lost.
155*: 1998-1405-Chennai. This was a game-changer. Not a great attack but the execution was flawless. Warne was mastered.
214 : 2010-1973-Bangalore. In at 38 for 2. Against a huge score. Match-winner all the way.
136 : 1999-1444-Chennai. An unfinished symphony. A fourth innings classic. Unfortunately Tendulkar could not complete the task and his team-mates let him down.
175 (141): 2009-2923-Hyderabad. Possibly Tendulkar's best ODI innings. Like the 136, he could not complete the task and his team-mates again let him down.
200*(147): 2010-2962-Gwalior. Reminds one of Tensing and Hillary. First to climb the 200-peak. Off a good attack.
134 (131): 1998-1327-Sharjah. Which of the two classics to take? The match-winner in the Final gets the nod. The other scores (23 off 42, 28 off 41 and 58 off 64) tell the story.
98 (75): 2003-1975-Centurion. Off a truly frightening attack. Amongst Tendulkar's best ever ODI innings. Those upper-cuts and the intent shown. Akhtar and Younis went for 9+ runs per over.

It is possible that I have missed an innings or two. Please feel free to contribute, if possible, avoiding the phrase 'Desert Storm'. I have done justice to it myself.

Clinton had suggested that I look at the Man-of-the-Match (MoM)/Man-of-the-Series (MoS) awards as a measure of the player contributions. I see that there is a lot of value in that. However, it is not correct to do that in this single-player centric article. Tendulkar was a batsman first and foremost. The MoM awards are given across the spectrum, for batting, bowling, all-round performances and the like. It would be unfair to Tendulkar if he is compared, in this article, to others who have the advantage of claiming the awards for multiple disciplines. No conclusions can be drawn. Maybe I will do a separate piece on this topic later. Suffice to say that, Tendulkar won 14 Test MoM awards, 62 ODI MoM awards, 5 Test MoS awards and 15 ODI MoS awards. He is ahead of the next player by a few kilometres. Moreover we should not forget that some of the matches Tendulkar played in did not have any awards: six Tests and 15 ODIs.

It is quite possible that you may disagree with some of the points expressed here. You have one of three options. Make your counter-point with supporting arguments. I will give respect to your views and publish your comment with my own responses. You could make your counter in an acceptable form with no supporting points. No problems. I will publish your comment, mostly with no response from me. Finally you cross the lines set and go rude and offensive. You insult me, another reader or any player. As night follows day, your comment will be junked. You have every right to be critical of me but no right to be abusive. Thanks in advance for following the simple rules set.

Tendulkar has played cricket for over a quarter century. What is there in store for him and what could he do for Indian cricket/sports?

The Mumbai Indians have already indicated that he would be with them in a major role. Probably "Mentor Emeritus". They may then not need Anil Kumble. But they can also afford to keep both. There is no doubt that Tendulkar would do an excellent job at Mumbai, a city he loves most and a team he has been part of from day one. But that is only three month's commitment. What else?

Spreading sports in schools seems to be too undefined a role. Would he be a part of the Indian cricket scene? He is unlikely to touch a Coach/Manager's job with a ten-foot pole. A mentor role might be superfluous for India's batsmen. Tough to envisage a useful role for him in this area.

I can see Tendulkar as an expert commentator, making periodic appearances, but not in a full-time commentator role.

What about a semi-political role? Sports Minister? Unfortunately this is likely to be a political appointment. What the UPA government does, the NDA government might throw out and vice versa, for political reasons. How would he handle the politicians, bureaucrats and the rebel sports federations, starting with cleaning up IOA? Tough task on hand.

Only thing I know for certain is that he will have the best wishes of all people everywhere. I hope, wish and pray that Tendulkar has a wonderful retirement and has great fun. Also that he scores the equivalent of 35,000 plus runs, albeit off the cricket field, in the 40-plus years to come in life. He has earned all the good wishes, in spades.

To download/view the documents containing the 7 complete tables, please CLICK HERE. My take is that many of the questions can be answered if you download this 1380-line file and view the contents. Instead of asking me where is Rahul Dravid placed in the HSI table? or how did Tendulkar fare against Jacques Kallis? or what about his streak in 2010? you could download the file and view the tables.

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 December 4, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    Ananth, I notice that there are a tremendous number of requests for you to do all sorts of tweaking with this "ACE-FIT" analysis. I coin this term for your work because, the method was "Accurately Conceptualised and Executed (ACE); and the results were "Fairly Interpreted and Transmitted" (FIT), to us - hence, the word "ACE-FIT", which means 'Among the very Best'! It's the reason that you've been showered with so much accolades! The sort of person that you are, I'm confident that you would want to meet every possible request! However, I think that we've almost exhausted the different statistical scenarios by which we can assess the batsmen - this one takes the crown! When it is combined with those before, I think by now we all know exactly where the batsmen stand, in terms of REAL BATSMANSHIP - among those who have come so far! So, let's now give the batsmen a break and turn to the bowlers in similar light! Remember,nothing was done for Wicket Keepers! Collect my royalties for ACE-FIT!
    [[
    Clint, You have missed most of my early works on "It Figures". Let me say that I have done a total of 160 articles for Cricinfo and about 20 of these have been for "the Cordon". Wicket-keepers were covered in depth sometime back and there have been many bowler-centric articles. In fact I love bowler articles since the reactions are nicer. But I will probably spread my work around in the new year.
    And the head-to-head analyses are as much bowler-driven as batsman-driven.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 4, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Cenitin, all points understood. For various parameters, please refer to this article... http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/620754.html Bonehead_Maz: That 254 was shown by the Australian High Commission in Delhi 20 years back on a cold wintry night in an open air theater where 200 people shivered in their blankets. It was a 150mm film. Don Bradman was one of the commentators. There was some fierce bowling by Lillee, but after Sobers crossed 50, I remember a blinding hook. Then those 2 shots - one square drive and one straight drive, both of the backfoot, off yorkers bowled by Lillee. What an onslaught...! When he reached 100 everyone clapped wildly cheering, as if the match was happening live (next week they showed Brisbane test of 1960, one more blinder by Sobers). Richie Richardson, Australia's great tormentor, must have played really well. But that day, it was all Lara. Poor Richie... Did you also watch 100* by Kim Hughes at MCG? Great test match.
    [[
    Hughes might have been a failure in many ways. But that 100* was one of the greatest of all time. Against Holding, Garner, Roberts, Croft, the score is 26 for 4. With a few 20s to support him, Hughes took AUstralia to 198. ANd then Lillee took over. It is indeed a tragedy that many Indian cricket followers do not know about such classics. Like Clem Hill's 188.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    @Bonehead_maz . Ananth himself answered your question in the article. In this list is openers and number 3 batsman will also be benefited. Because of that only he created two separate graph for 1-2-3 and 4-5-6. That might be the reason of High TSI for ( Hobbs and May). Look all the players you mentioned are very good players and I didn't question them for their high TSI. But I was pointing that some avg players were having high HSI than many V good players due to weak batting line up. But one thing is sure this HSI put RN Harvey and Weeks in very good light as both were not 1/2/3 bat and both were part of good batting line up. Ananth might add something on them.
    [[
    Harvery's BPIndex was 3.65 which is betseen 3 & 4. SLightly more at 4 than 3. However there are sufficient innings at 3. So his high HSI, especially during those post-Don days, is not surprising. Weekes was something else. His BPIndex is 4.15 indicating 4 and afterwards more often. That indicates how often he was the elading batsman even in a strong West Indisn side.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Ananth, pardon me, but i find it quite irritating that your reader Milpand's comment, if directed at my comment, is featured in a different section than mine. How is a reader supposed to read the two comments together? Is this decision by cricinfo? in which case they are not reading comments in a chain. If by you, my request is to abandon this policy of featured comments.
    [[
    First let me say that the Featured comments are here to say. And I have no idea whether I featured yours or not. I feature based on my mood at that time.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Secondly, typically of Tendulkar fans, MilPand has chosen to take an extremely narrow interpretation of my comments, assuming that it is directed at mine. I meant to say that great batsmen play within themselves until the big match happens, and then raise their game. Finals are too few? Really? Gilchrist's achievements belittled (53, 57, 149)? There are many examples - Pakistan competed very well against Australia in the league game in 1999, but were blown away in the finals. Tendulkar made 97, 98, 52 in WC 2003 (rest of the innings were against minnows). Very good. But failed in final. No statistical terms needed.

  • ArjunHemnani on December 3, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Ananth, Just for fun i summed Test career statistics of G Sobers and Viv Richards... The total is...... Test-204 Inn-342 No-33 Runs-16572 avg.-53.63 Hd-50 Ft-75 0's-22 Very Similar to Sachin's career figures.
    [[
    This seems straight from "The Twilight Zone". Also shows that, in a manner of speaking, Sobers was x% over SRT and SRT was x% over Richards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • MilPand on December 3, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    There are too few finals to conclude that scoring big in a final is statistically significant (in other words, it a mere co-incidence). There is no sportsman who can PLAN to sit idle during qualifying matches thereby scoring big in final. It is far more significant to score a lot of runs in multiple world cups (over a decade) - because it is far less likely to be a coincidence.
    [[
    I agree that no one can plan deliberately to scores only in significant matches. If they score it is fine. Else the least they should have done is to have contributed earlier. The sense of big occasion just happens. It cannot be acquired.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Azfar on December 3, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @ bonehead_maz..........thanks for considering me your twin brother !! I think the bond is a deep love for this game......I am an Indian who has been living in the UK for the last 5 years. I am an IT consultant by profession but the deep passion for this game which started as a 10 year old listening to radio commentary never goes away. Some of my favourite Aussies are Keith Miller (most exciting player this game has seen), Steve Waugh, Border, Lillee, Ian Chappell, Warne and of course The Don. Must compliment Anantha for getting us 'diehard types' together from across the globe. I think we are the ones who love watching a crafty spinner pitted against a great batsman on the fith day of a test match, even if not many runs are scored, the contest excites us. May our tribe thrive !!
    [[
    Yes, I agree. Lyon participated in two significant contests during 2012-13. One was ehen du Plessis kept him out for hours on end and the next, three months later, when Dhoni dissected him clinically. And those last few overs at Auckland.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rameshkumar_Satyamoorthy on December 3, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Ananth, A very good & interesting tribute article. Good that you have kept away from too many comparisons with other players as it will spoil the spirit of the article. HSI is an interesting thought and it requires some more thinking. I had once suggested in "It figures" the importance of 50+ scores as it suggests a good contribution from a player. Maybe we can look at that as well. My Tendulkar memories--a genius willing to work hard, respect & obsession for the game, preparation for a match, childlike running between wickets, his pleasure to try variations in bowling, willingness to adapt his game in line with his form, Strong technique in defence and in stroke play, backfoot punch to covers, straight drive, flick, short arm pull (90s special), paddle sweep, upper cut, ability to connect with children to old people, Sachin chanting, ability to remain grounded amidst hero worship, inspiration to team members across 24 years. And ofcourse, some runs.
    [[
    I would add only one thing. The true definition of a role model, along wirth Dravid and Laxman. Dhawan, Kohli and Sharma might score many runs, but in this matter, they will fall short. Maybe a sign of the times: the 1990s vs the 2010s. As of now we will not miss Tendulkar as a player. But as an individual, YES.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Azfar on December 2, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Hi Anantha, another great effort. Congrats. People who really understand the game (I consider myself among them, pardon the immodesty), know by instinct who the really great players are. Sometimes the conventional stats of the game don't bear this out. Hence the quest for the indices which take into account the key parameters and separate the real diamonds. It is a never ending quest, but to your credit you are taking us closer. I am really impressed by your analysis of SRT of when he walked into a difficult situation, a real measure of how good a player is. Let me be cheeky, can you do a similar analysis for Dravid. My instinct tells me Dravid will come out better. No intention of belittling SRT, but it always saddened me that we Indians never gave Dravid his due. I am talking purely in terms of Test performance. I know you are refraining from comparisons in this article but this will be really interesting.
    [[
    The "difficult situations" analysis was a first as an independent one. I have incorporated far more complex ones for my Innings Ratings work. Will try and extend in a generic form to other batsmen also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Brilliant Ananth..cudos for venturing into unchartered waters. I am a die hard fan, bar none, of sachin simply because he has been THE GO TO MAN and serious inspiration throughout my childhood yet i never called him God and still maintain that he is definitely not the best batsman of all time let alone being the best cricketer. yet, somehow I am disappointed by the comments here more than what they were in ODI part of the tribute. not agreeing with Dem religion on everything yet to see Shams citing "penchant for taking minnows lightly" in support of Lara seems hollow to me. as a player u play the opposition u r given and not playing to potential is ur fault come what may. comparatively SRT's injury were bigger reason which allowed many (talking about top noth batsman like ponting lara, dravid) to catch him on that dreadfull period of 04-07. seriously..does lara need that line of defense. He is once in a lifetime player without an iota of doubt as SRT has been. Also dravid outperformed SRT in 1 test and SRT took lead in next. is that the logic? are we talking about individual tests for players who have played 200 and 164 test with career spanning 24 and 17 years. Anyways Lara and SRT have been the reason cricket is so loved across fans like us and statistics will certainly prove one better than other depending on who you want to be better. There is no end. For me, they are just 2 sides of 1 coin. There will always be counter argument to every argument made in favour of either. blessed to see such players. and not to mention your choice of innigs is perfect, again may vary from fans. I would definitely place 143 ahead instead of 134 bcos of stiff target, lesser support and fraility of batting line up. in tests 169@capetown, 103 @chennai, 153@ adilade and 50 odd at Mumbai on minefield in 04 are among his best. Finally have to confess, your analysis style is certainly DGB among the rest.A cut above all whtever be the criteria. Thank you
    [[
    Thank you, Nitin. The day had not yet been made and you made it. I have always appreciated your balance in looking at these articles. Many a time I feel I write for people like you. Very strong Tendulkar fan but willing to look at the facts presented objectively. I am a great supporter of the axiom that you need not put down one player to push up another.
    The 169 intrigues me a lot. I considered that seriously for quite some time before going for the 111 and 146. The 146 selects itself. I plumped for the 111 because it was made before Tendulkar was 20. But the 169 is a beautiful innings. 58 for 5, facing 529 but Azhar still there. Pity the match could not be saved. On balance, despite the strong support, I will stick with 111.
    I have taken the liberty of combining your responses.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 4, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    Ananth, I notice that there are a tremendous number of requests for you to do all sorts of tweaking with this "ACE-FIT" analysis. I coin this term for your work because, the method was "Accurately Conceptualised and Executed (ACE); and the results were "Fairly Interpreted and Transmitted" (FIT), to us - hence, the word "ACE-FIT", which means 'Among the very Best'! It's the reason that you've been showered with so much accolades! The sort of person that you are, I'm confident that you would want to meet every possible request! However, I think that we've almost exhausted the different statistical scenarios by which we can assess the batsmen - this one takes the crown! When it is combined with those before, I think by now we all know exactly where the batsmen stand, in terms of REAL BATSMANSHIP - among those who have come so far! So, let's now give the batsmen a break and turn to the bowlers in similar light! Remember,nothing was done for Wicket Keepers! Collect my royalties for ACE-FIT!
    [[
    Clint, You have missed most of my early works on "It Figures". Let me say that I have done a total of 160 articles for Cricinfo and about 20 of these have been for "the Cordon". Wicket-keepers were covered in depth sometime back and there have been many bowler-centric articles. In fact I love bowler articles since the reactions are nicer. But I will probably spread my work around in the new year.
    And the head-to-head analyses are as much bowler-driven as batsman-driven.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 4, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    Cenitin, all points understood. For various parameters, please refer to this article... http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/620754.html Bonehead_Maz: That 254 was shown by the Australian High Commission in Delhi 20 years back on a cold wintry night in an open air theater where 200 people shivered in their blankets. It was a 150mm film. Don Bradman was one of the commentators. There was some fierce bowling by Lillee, but after Sobers crossed 50, I remember a blinding hook. Then those 2 shots - one square drive and one straight drive, both of the backfoot, off yorkers bowled by Lillee. What an onslaught...! When he reached 100 everyone clapped wildly cheering, as if the match was happening live (next week they showed Brisbane test of 1960, one more blinder by Sobers). Richie Richardson, Australia's great tormentor, must have played really well. But that day, it was all Lara. Poor Richie... Did you also watch 100* by Kim Hughes at MCG? Great test match.
    [[
    Hughes might have been a failure in many ways. But that 100* was one of the greatest of all time. Against Holding, Garner, Roberts, Croft, the score is 26 for 4. With a few 20s to support him, Hughes took AUstralia to 198. ANd then Lillee took over. It is indeed a tragedy that many Indian cricket followers do not know about such classics. Like Clem Hill's 188.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    @Bonehead_maz . Ananth himself answered your question in the article. In this list is openers and number 3 batsman will also be benefited. Because of that only he created two separate graph for 1-2-3 and 4-5-6. That might be the reason of High TSI for ( Hobbs and May). Look all the players you mentioned are very good players and I didn't question them for their high TSI. But I was pointing that some avg players were having high HSI than many V good players due to weak batting line up. But one thing is sure this HSI put RN Harvey and Weeks in very good light as both were not 1/2/3 bat and both were part of good batting line up. Ananth might add something on them.
    [[
    Harvery's BPIndex was 3.65 which is betseen 3 & 4. SLightly more at 4 than 3. However there are sufficient innings at 3. So his high HSI, especially during those post-Don days, is not surprising. Weekes was something else. His BPIndex is 4.15 indicating 4 and afterwards more often. That indicates how often he was the elading batsman even in a strong West Indisn side.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 15:46 GMT

    Ananth, pardon me, but i find it quite irritating that your reader Milpand's comment, if directed at my comment, is featured in a different section than mine. How is a reader supposed to read the two comments together? Is this decision by cricinfo? in which case they are not reading comments in a chain. If by you, my request is to abandon this policy of featured comments.
    [[
    First let me say that the Featured comments are here to say. And I have no idea whether I featured yours or not. I feature based on my mood at that time.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Secondly, typically of Tendulkar fans, MilPand has chosen to take an extremely narrow interpretation of my comments, assuming that it is directed at mine. I meant to say that great batsmen play within themselves until the big match happens, and then raise their game. Finals are too few? Really? Gilchrist's achievements belittled (53, 57, 149)? There are many examples - Pakistan competed very well against Australia in the league game in 1999, but were blown away in the finals. Tendulkar made 97, 98, 52 in WC 2003 (rest of the innings were against minnows). Very good. But failed in final. No statistical terms needed.

  • ArjunHemnani on December 3, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    Ananth, Just for fun i summed Test career statistics of G Sobers and Viv Richards... The total is...... Test-204 Inn-342 No-33 Runs-16572 avg.-53.63 Hd-50 Ft-75 0's-22 Very Similar to Sachin's career figures.
    [[
    This seems straight from "The Twilight Zone". Also shows that, in a manner of speaking, Sobers was x% over SRT and SRT was x% over Richards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • MilPand on December 3, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    There are too few finals to conclude that scoring big in a final is statistically significant (in other words, it a mere co-incidence). There is no sportsman who can PLAN to sit idle during qualifying matches thereby scoring big in final. It is far more significant to score a lot of runs in multiple world cups (over a decade) - because it is far less likely to be a coincidence.
    [[
    I agree that no one can plan deliberately to scores only in significant matches. If they score it is fine. Else the least they should have done is to have contributed earlier. The sense of big occasion just happens. It cannot be acquired.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Azfar on December 3, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    @ bonehead_maz..........thanks for considering me your twin brother !! I think the bond is a deep love for this game......I am an Indian who has been living in the UK for the last 5 years. I am an IT consultant by profession but the deep passion for this game which started as a 10 year old listening to radio commentary never goes away. Some of my favourite Aussies are Keith Miller (most exciting player this game has seen), Steve Waugh, Border, Lillee, Ian Chappell, Warne and of course The Don. Must compliment Anantha for getting us 'diehard types' together from across the globe. I think we are the ones who love watching a crafty spinner pitted against a great batsman on the fith day of a test match, even if not many runs are scored, the contest excites us. May our tribe thrive !!
    [[
    Yes, I agree. Lyon participated in two significant contests during 2012-13. One was ehen du Plessis kept him out for hours on end and the next, three months later, when Dhoni dissected him clinically. And those last few overs at Auckland.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Rameshkumar_Satyamoorthy on December 3, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Ananth, A very good & interesting tribute article. Good that you have kept away from too many comparisons with other players as it will spoil the spirit of the article. HSI is an interesting thought and it requires some more thinking. I had once suggested in "It figures" the importance of 50+ scores as it suggests a good contribution from a player. Maybe we can look at that as well. My Tendulkar memories--a genius willing to work hard, respect & obsession for the game, preparation for a match, childlike running between wickets, his pleasure to try variations in bowling, willingness to adapt his game in line with his form, Strong technique in defence and in stroke play, backfoot punch to covers, straight drive, flick, short arm pull (90s special), paddle sweep, upper cut, ability to connect with children to old people, Sachin chanting, ability to remain grounded amidst hero worship, inspiration to team members across 24 years. And ofcourse, some runs.
    [[
    I would add only one thing. The true definition of a role model, along wirth Dravid and Laxman. Dhawan, Kohli and Sharma might score many runs, but in this matter, they will fall short. Maybe a sign of the times: the 1990s vs the 2010s. As of now we will not miss Tendulkar as a player. But as an individual, YES.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Azfar on December 2, 2013, 19:59 GMT

    Hi Anantha, another great effort. Congrats. People who really understand the game (I consider myself among them, pardon the immodesty), know by instinct who the really great players are. Sometimes the conventional stats of the game don't bear this out. Hence the quest for the indices which take into account the key parameters and separate the real diamonds. It is a never ending quest, but to your credit you are taking us closer. I am really impressed by your analysis of SRT of when he walked into a difficult situation, a real measure of how good a player is. Let me be cheeky, can you do a similar analysis for Dravid. My instinct tells me Dravid will come out better. No intention of belittling SRT, but it always saddened me that we Indians never gave Dravid his due. I am talking purely in terms of Test performance. I know you are refraining from comparisons in this article but this will be really interesting.
    [[
    The "difficult situations" analysis was a first as an independent one. I have incorporated far more complex ones for my Innings Ratings work. Will try and extend in a generic form to other batsmen also.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    Brilliant Ananth..cudos for venturing into unchartered waters. I am a die hard fan, bar none, of sachin simply because he has been THE GO TO MAN and serious inspiration throughout my childhood yet i never called him God and still maintain that he is definitely not the best batsman of all time let alone being the best cricketer. yet, somehow I am disappointed by the comments here more than what they were in ODI part of the tribute. not agreeing with Dem religion on everything yet to see Shams citing "penchant for taking minnows lightly" in support of Lara seems hollow to me. as a player u play the opposition u r given and not playing to potential is ur fault come what may. comparatively SRT's injury were bigger reason which allowed many (talking about top noth batsman like ponting lara, dravid) to catch him on that dreadfull period of 04-07. seriously..does lara need that line of defense. He is once in a lifetime player without an iota of doubt as SRT has been. Also dravid outperformed SRT in 1 test and SRT took lead in next. is that the logic? are we talking about individual tests for players who have played 200 and 164 test with career spanning 24 and 17 years. Anyways Lara and SRT have been the reason cricket is so loved across fans like us and statistics will certainly prove one better than other depending on who you want to be better. There is no end. For me, they are just 2 sides of 1 coin. There will always be counter argument to every argument made in favour of either. blessed to see such players. and not to mention your choice of innigs is perfect, again may vary from fans. I would definitely place 143 ahead instead of 134 bcos of stiff target, lesser support and fraility of batting line up. in tests 169@capetown, 103 @chennai, 153@ adilade and 50 odd at Mumbai on minefield in 04 are among his best. Finally have to confess, your analysis style is certainly DGB among the rest.A cut above all whtever be the criteria. Thank you
    [[
    Thank you, Nitin. The day had not yet been made and you made it. I have always appreciated your balance in looking at these articles. Many a time I feel I write for people like you. Very strong Tendulkar fan but willing to look at the facts presented objectively. I am a great supporter of the axiom that you need not put down one player to push up another.
    The 169 intrigues me a lot. I considered that seriously for quite some time before going for the 111 and 146. The 146 selects itself. I plumped for the 111 because it was made before Tendulkar was 20. But the 169 is a beautiful innings. 58 for 5, facing 529 but Azhar still there. Pity the match could not be saved. On balance, despite the strong support, I will stick with 111.
    I have taken the liberty of combining your responses.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Shams on December 2, 2013, 4:25 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry, I have a dream (to quote from MLK :) to weigh the runs scored by bowling quality and pitch conditions. My intent is to use the ICC ratings to measure the batting/bowling quality and use historical data opponent ratings versus team score to calibrate pitch conditions for home/away cases. I feel this would be a good method to measure points (since they will no longer be the same as runs) scored and averages. It would reward runs scored against tougher opponents/conditions, temper good performances against weaker opponents, and handle players from different eras. One further improvement that cannot be done is due to lack of data is individual player vs player info cannot be used for all matches. My intuition is Dravid would trump Tendulkar in such an analysis. Lara would be very near the top for modern players, perhaps only Ponting and Sangakkara to challenge. Alas, work and study eat up too much time to implement this. One day perhaps :)
    [[
    During June-Aug 2011, I did so much work on the lines you have mentioned and came out with a series of articles. I get the feeling that some of these seminal articles have to be re-visted in the next year. The passage of time, Tests, runs and wickets would certainly add to the value of these. However it is a mammoth task and I cannot approach the same lightly.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • arajeshn on December 1, 2013, 18:59 GMT

    Great effort. The graph for SRT's batting averages is very interesting. Didn't realise that his batting average was quite 'average' with 37 after about 40 innings. Great to see that the selectors persevered with him. His unmistakeable quality (1990-Manchester, 1992-Perth & Jo'burg) would have helped, no doubt. If I had to nominate one test and one ODI innings, I would have 136 vs Pak @ Chennai (a memorable unforgettable tragedy) and the 98 vs Pak in 2003WC (super match winning innings under immense pressure). For the posters, going on and on about SRT better than Lara/Dravid or vice versa, please give it a break. Let us enjoy the fact that we had all these wonderful cricketers to enjoy in our lifetime!
    [[
    Thank you for a set of loveley comments. Even in Tennis I always tell people. I may like Fed and you may like Nadal. Let us enjoy their games without putting down one or other. Tendulkar's crests were many. It is also clear that, in Tests, his troughs were quite a few. Contrary to his ODI career. Once this fact is understood, it is easy to accept everything that has been said: the many positives and the few negatives.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • red_forever on December 1, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    Ananth, another Top Draw from your Stable. Coming to Inspiring Players, i say you can inspire a new generation of Players, but inspiring those in your Generation,those ppl admire you, your work ethic and then it inspires them to work harder. The inspiration part is tough to calculate. As Dravid said the other Day, SRT took the whole media circus along with him that it enabled him to work on his game in the background without any external Pressures. The best example of this is 99-00 Aus tour where everyone failed miserably except SRT and the Media Hounded SRT's captaincy but not one word on others. This as Dravid said helped them improve their batting because all the attention of oppositon and everyone else was on SRT.I Think this is where the inspiration thing should end. Coming to new generation, almost everyone from MSD to Rahane, everyone was inspired by SRT to take up cricket, but can we quantify it? No. This should be left to Poets and not Analysts.
    [[
    Thanks, Dinesh. That is my view also. A Harsha, free of any analytical baggage, can use his liquid prose to say what he wants on the inspiration story. He could pen it in two hours while I take two weeks. I have to back it up with figures. And let us also mention it. How much Tendulkar was inspired by one of the best modern defensive techniques on view, or the spinner-handling skills of Ganguly or the big-innings mindset and managing-the-tail technique of elegant Laxman. Quite a lot, I am certain.
    To what extent Wawrinka has been inspired by Federer. I would say, for all the things said, he must have been a peeved guy who grew up in the shades of the banian tree. But helped by the rapport Fed had with Wawrinka, the two of them helped each other to craft an Olympic Gold medal and some inspiring Davis Cup wins. But in a way, he is the Dravid to Fed's Tendulkar. This year he came out of the shadow, and how. One more win somewhere in the year would have seen him ranked ahead of Federer, almost unthinkable sometime back. How can one measure the way each fed off the other.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    One observation: Among all the outstanding 21 innings Tendulkar played out of the 168 (12.5%) crunch situations, only 4 has resulted in a win for India (19%). Or net of 4 in 168 o r 2.3% in total career spanning 24 years. I suggest you come up with a matrix for the above calculation, where you may also include good innings with a 50% weightage. Say for Sachin it is 33 of 168 (19%), and 7 in 33 (21%); i.e. 7 of 168 (4.1%). So net weightage 4.1*.5 = 2.05%. So, you can say Sachin has contributed total of 4.35% (2.3+2.05) in wins from crunch situations. The weight-age for good innings can be altered, but given that the range is from 50-100 and the average is 70 as compared to 140 in outstanding, I would say 50% is a decent weightage for good as compared to outstanding innings. The whole analysis makes sense if we can extend the analysis to other players. And it could be predicted that Bradman to come on top of both charts (no. as well as perc), and Lara in the top in one. Waiting!! To summarize, Sachin was a great Test player, but definitely not among the top 5.
    [[
    The PoE analysis is another new one. I have done it in much greater depth for my Innings Ratings work. In which a 21 for 2 is clearly analyzed from a current target point of view. Here this was for a specific batsman. So I customized the final groupings. The situations were fixed. But the four groupings were not. 100+, 50-100, 35-50, 20-35, sub-20 and taking off not out innings etc have to be figured out across the board. This, like the HSI, is also going to have a good future.
    Thanks for couple of comments concentrating on the ideas not the person.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    Liked the analysis a lot. HSI reveals something that other statistics can't easily do. To me this is the biggest contribution to the analysis. I was following you in the ODI analysis too, which revealed the worth of Viv against others, and was eagerly waiting for this one (Tests) Coming back, the interesting thing in HSI is that it pops up only the outstanding players in each team. And more often than not, max one per era, although exceptions are there like Sehwag n Sachin (but even then Sachin's span is too long. But huge credit to Sehwag, who outplayed the master). Interesting omissions from top 10/20 are Dravid, Ponting, and S. Waugh. (J. Kallis is never an outstanding player to start with). The reasons could be - Dravid was always second best to Sachin, and had Sehwag also lately; and Australians always played a team game, with a great batting strength (Like lions competing for their prey).
    [[
    To be honest, HSI has surprised me a lot. Before doing it for Tests I had picked only SMG ahead of SRT. Also I expected Dravid, Sehwag to be much closer to SRT. But finally we have had couple of real surprises. Sehwag's numbers and Dravid's numbers. They have gone in different directions. This shows SRT in reasonable light despite the 0.5 level. And the tweaks will work very well.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 7:56 GMT

    Ananth, a very coherent analysis.. Again.. Very insightful, the way you have incorporated the HSI index.. HSI makes much more sense in Tests as compared to ODIs (a 30 ball 50 lower down might shadow a 70 & 80 in the same innings in ODIs)..
    [[
    ON the nail. I will remember thse distintions when I do the separate pieces for HSI in ODIs and Tests.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    I still have a thought.. Remember Dravid's greatest knock 148 at Headingley, Sachin had a serene 193, but which was more "significant".. How can we incorporate something like this?? I wish I could have given you a solution as well!!
    [[
    In that innings, Tendulkar's 45 more runs in 23 more balls probably gets the edge. He also converted a good situation into a match-winning situations, in the company of Gangopadhyaya.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    And thankfully there aren't comparisons, or this beautiful blog would have been hijacked!! & despite that people are belittling Lara in the comments.. Lara overshadowed his team-mates by huge margin (Shiv included).. Sachin could never overshadow Dravid in Tests.. If anything, Dravid was an equal to Sachin (if not better) in Tests (barring Aus'99, SA'11 series where Sachin literally outscored Dravid).. WE Indians have undervalued Dravid.. Always.. Lucky to see the 2 absolute Legends in the same line-up..
    [[
    It was a conscious decision. And the vultures have come, circled the place and left without leaving any of their tallon marks.
    Dravid stand very high in my list. I am also very saddened by the way Dravid took his departure from Test scene. As he bbatted, with a single wave to the crowd.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • sreek_arch on December 1, 2013, 7:43 GMT

    Hi Ananth, What a beautiful article, through your words you have create a memorial for sachin in stone, while so many others were created in mud and covered with gold foils, may this memorial endures as long as sun and moon exists, Anyway HSI is a great index, may be requirin some tweaks, measuring batsmen, because batsmen should be valuated for their contribution to the teams, as this index beautifully brought out. But i does think that this slightly benefits batsman like lara and flower. May be sachin was unfortunate that for later part of career he has to share with sehwag, dravid and laxman. So it gives him approximately 25% chance for best score, and i think 33% for second best (is my probabiliies correct?). May be later you can compare HSI in winning and drawing situations and in losing situations. Also as far as my understanding, HSI actually does a peer comparison with the teamamtes. So is it possible to use it for peer comparison with all the players by tweaking it somehow
    [[
    I would only take minor umbrage at the phrase "May be sachin was unfortunate that for later part of career he has to share with sehwag, dravid and laxman". He was unfortunate only in that the HSI index, in the overall context of things, virtually nothing, would have been higher. But how much India benefited. Lara would have given anything to have a bevy of suh quality batsmen with him.
    The minute we go past the specific innings, the HSI loses its sheen. Everything changes. Thus this is the truest of all peer work I have done. Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 5:50 GMT

    In 99 series, 4 players from India went to Aust with avg in excess of 50, I was only convinced with one - Sachin. He again stamped his class in the series. Couple of harsh decisions also did not help. He never looked uncomfortable at any point in the series, only averaged 45 in the series, but I would take that any time more than an average of 90 against an average team in subcontinent. His century is best described by Murray "we isolated him totally and were flies swarming the carcass". Although I maintain that Lara was more talented (and mercurial) than him, but he performed appreciably better than him during the period. To me, till that time he had stamped his position in all time greats.. The slump, the again peak and then slump did not change much. His 241 is praised by many but to me it was just one of his many other innings... At that period he was scoring mostly on placid wickets/average attack, and that SCG innings was no different. cont..

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 1, 2013, 5:28 GMT

    YuvrajShankaran's comment does have a sound basis. While judging a batsman, various approaches have to be taken. The comparison with the next highest score is an impressive approach, but opens the Lara kind of arguments - a great player In a weak team getting penalized because others too were very good. Can we look at another metric? How often (% of total completed innings) did the greats of the last 20 years (Tendulkar, Waugh, Ponting, Laxman, Kallis, Dravidian, Lara, Inzi) do well when most others had failed? For instance, if we extract those innings of Tendulkar where excluding him, in his team, the top score ws less than 50 and the total of such batsmen was less than 150, what was his performance? Measure by average? Similarly for the other batsmen? Across the career?
    [[
    These are shades of the same measure. These are selections of the HSI. If the HSI crosses , say, 3.0, the situation you say will be there. And there is no way to generalize these. McCullum's HSI for his tornado of 80 is 11.42. What do we draw from that. The problem is that it is easy to make a suggestion on paper. However implementing the same across 2100 and 3400 matches is another thing. What works in one nice specified case may fail in 10 other cases. Think of limiting the HSI to the top-7 innings only. See how the values will change.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Ananth, Good graph of split of Sachin's career. Personally I divide his career in to first prolonged phase till early 2000, then a slump and then that unbelievable resurgence, which lasted for 3 years and then a slump of 3 years. The first sign of the renaissance I saw was in South Africa when he started to play his natural game again (does't reflect in avgs in that series) till the final innings of the series when he and Dravid decided to play defensively and allowed SA to come back into the match and ended up losing the series we should have won. His 2nd peak was commendable for different reasons, I still think that it did not touch his 90s heights (I don't expect it to coz of age). In 90's he was magnificent and had presented a batting performance, which is unmatched in Indian history, past or present. To me the true measure of any batsman's class is when he is confronted with a great bowling attack in their own backyard. The high point of his career came, in 99 Aust series.. cont..

  • Bonehead_maz on December 1, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    "At what stage does a player move from one who gets inspired to one who inspires."This is absolutely impossible within statistics. How much was Richie Benaud to John ? What backyard games did Peter Pollock teach Greame. Was Neil a Harvey that would have thrived immediately without the other 3 ? Would Weekes be he, without Worrell and Wallcott ? These (and many others) are just not possibly statistically solved questions. What we have here is a clearly great player retiring, and a desire to look at his career impassionately ..... It's hard to do when such a great player. Well done Ananath !

  • Bonehead_maz on December 1, 2013, 0:03 GMT

    A batsman as good as Darryl Cullinan (amazing they should have identical HSI) can have their career ended by running into just one bowler. Sachin adapted to whatever was ever thrown at him and kept mastering the new. Wonderful achievement ! and the innings :- "114*: 1992-1186-Perth. In the teens, off a top bowling attack, the highest score of the match. ...... along with a WSC innings by Barry Richards, the best example of playing straight off the backfoot I've ever seen in Perth. 116 : 1999-1479-MCG. Similar to the Perth innings. Probably better and against a better attack. No one else did no nothing, as the Americans would say...... we isolated him totally and were flies swarming the carcass, but he never looked like not getting a hundred. 241*: 2004-1680-SCG. A classic. Possibly Tendulkar's best Test innings. A tactical masterpiece. ........... Willed himself to 200 because all others had been scoring......... amazing batting ! He hardly even played a shot and still scored briskly
    [[
    Trust the Aussie to have a keen eye for those classics down under. Many thanks, Murray, for an almost "insider's" view.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on November 30, 2013, 23:41 GMT

    Wonderful article Ananth ! I adore the HS index. Can we in future have the TS and 2TS points shown in a points per innings (or otherwise standardized way) to compare ? I have a feeling some batsmen produce runs for others (depending who the others are). I have no idea how that could be factored.
    [[
    The specialist article on the two HSIs (ODI & Tests) seems to be required soon.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    There are three things these numbers lead me to say about Tendulkar's career. 1) The 50 odd test surge from 2008 ? till 2011 is simply jaw dropping. That is pure will power speaking very loudly. 2) Scoring 21 centuries when your team is in notional trouble is incredible. For those centuries themselves to average over 140 is OUTSTANDING ! 3) He may have single handledly built a very good batting team ? Either that or was just one of the first out of a magnificent batting factory. Look at how the team has needed to depend on him less and less while getting better and better results !
    [[
    The last one is a very pertinent point.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • YuvarajSankaran on November 30, 2013, 20:10 GMT

    About inspiration, It is a great indicator of any sportsman's ability to get the rest to perform as well. Lara was one of the last greats of the west Indies batting. Lara came into the team when the West Indies where the greatest team of his times and when he left they have hit the bottom. It may not all be Lara's fault but as the leader of the batting he will have to take some responsibility for this. Compare that to SRT who came in when Indian Team playing abroad was a almost a joke and now one of the most feared teams. SRT has built a whole new generation of fearsome Indian batsman. That is his main Legacy. While statistics is a good tool to get insights, true greats of the game cannot be fully measured by statistics alone.My Sincere request to you is to find a more accurate measure of batsman's success considering the key challenges presented by the game itself. Bowling Strength, Conditions, Formats, Ability to adapt across all these challenges are the key things to look at IMHO
    [[
    Problem is how to make these as objective factors. At what stage does a player move from one who gets inspired to one who inspires. How much credit for Shikhar Dhawan's Mohali innings goes to Tendulkar, Dhoni and Kohli. My feeling is that the captain has a great role to play. The others help the team in different ways. It is sufficient to say that Tendulkar inspired a whol generation of new batsmen and leave at that, as Murray Archer has done. Very difficult to convert that to measurable indices.
    What was Tendulkar's role in shaping the careers of Sehwag, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman and Gambhir. All these were great players on their own and how much would you say Tendulkar's role was. Now compare the crop of West Indian batsmen who supported Lara. Other than Chanderpaul is there one potentially great player. How does Lara mould the journeyman cricketer, Sherwin Campbell, into world class.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • YuvarajSankaran on November 30, 2013, 17:48 GMT

    Great effort in trying to analyze SRT more objectively among all the emotional hoopla surrounding his retirement. The intent is great but HSI falls short in some key areas. The Primary flaw with the HSI is that it tries to find how lonely a batsman has been in contributing to his team's success. One of the main responsibilities of the primary batsman of the team is to inspire and help the rest of his team to perform at his level. The HSI penalizes the batsman who brought others along which goes against the very essence of the fundamentals of the game itself. I would like to see an Index which considers the strength of the bowling attack and the difficulty of the surface and then measures the batsman's success. It requires lot of courage to put SRT lower on a batting statistic. I applaud you for that. SRT and Don are the two batsman if shown lower on a batting statistic the effectiveness of the statistic will be questioned. That in itself is a great achievement by the little master.
    [[
    I am not sure whether I agree. I think the ability of a batsman to inspire others is often over-stated. For at least the netter part of his career, SRT had a set of truly world class batsmen who really did not need inspiration. They were nearly as great. And what happened with Lara. A giant amongst non-deliverers most of his career. If he did not deliver West Indies would have gone still lower. That is shown by his high HSI. Tendulkar's is low because of a few reasons, one of which is the strength of batting for well over 10 years. So the HSI plays a part in determing the contribution, especially with the new tweaks talked about and increasing the scope and depth of analysis.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    Actually, considering that SRT played just 69 Tests in the 1990s and his down period from 2003-07, Using 4 year periods but the first as from 1989-1995 ( instead of 1994) may provide more insight. We then have : 1989-1995 : 35 Tests ; avg 53 1995-1999 : 28 Tests ; avg 57 1999-2003 : 42 Tests ; avg 62 2003-2007 : 29 Tests ; avg 44 2007-2011 : 42 Tests ; avg 62 2011- Retd: 24 Tests, avg 35 This clearly shows his mid 2000 injury period. Made half respectable because of runs against Bangladesh. And his final decline. From 2003-07 (minus Ban/Zim) SRT avg. 39 with some 50 batsmen avg. more.
    [[
    I did not want to do customized career splits. Everyone knows what happed in the early 2000s. Only the last period consisted of two chalk-and-cheese sub-periods and I tried to bring that out.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 15:36 GMT

    Re. The "difficult entry" situations there was another similar article on cricinfo a while back. There is a slight logical flaw involved and The "trick" is to first ascertain Why the situation is "difficult": 1)If good batsmen fall early it is quite possible that the pitch/bowling is in favour of bowlers. Otherwise- 2)Poor batsmen falling early is hardly an indication of anything. Infact , as you have indirectly mentioned re. with the HSI index - most big scores ( 250+/Triples) are scored in positions 1-3, or otherwise a middle order batsmen coming in relatively early. It is just about impossible for a a middle order batsman to score big with a substantial total already on the board - not just because of complacency setting in but also the captain must be willing to simply allow the batsmen to bat on. So, infact in good batting conditions it is actually probably best for the better batsmen to come in early. So- the "why" of a middle order batsman coming early is the key question.
    [[
    As I have mentioned clearly, this is a non-contextual but proper facts-based situation determination methodology. As part of my Ratings work, I do it on a contextual basis. Then a 100 for 2, facing a target of 500, might not be as good as it looks and a score of 50 for 5, chasing 70 to win not as bad. But this is the first time I have attempted this and have done this only for SRT.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • ArjunHemnani on November 30, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    Ananth, Similar to High score index table, can you do a table named 'SCI' ? Here SCI is significant controbutor index. I believe Top 3 Highest scores in team innings are significant innings(not always but most of the times). Sachin played in 329 innings, how many times he was one of the TOP-3 scorers ? Suppose there were 150 instances of Sachin being one of top-3 scorers, his SCI will be 150/329 = '0.455' A simple table of all the batsmen will be interesting.
    [[
    Arjun, the idea is fascinating. As often happens with me, it is only a starting point. The SCI can be when a batsman is one of the top three in either runs or balls, This will reward those anchors of batting.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    A great batsman. Might or might not be the best India has produced, but one of the greats. It is an often commented upon subject but I think the table above verifies the fact that Tendulkar had a weakness against the ball moving inwards. James Anderson befuddled him with his sharp inswingers with the occasional outswinger. The fact that Dale Steyn does not move the ball that appreciably into the batsman is exactly why Sachin had an edge over him. Graeme Swann, Lyon same reason.While in the case of Peter Siddle, I would attribute his 4 dismissals of Sachin to his unmatched and brilliant use of the crease and the seam position.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 5, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    @ Gerry_the_Merry :) Welcome back ! I'm very glad to hear the High Commission doing the right thing ! I hope the 1960 film showed some of O'Niell too. That match was before my watching days and lol apparently dad left the ground at tea because thought it was over. There's "inspiration" value summed up perfectly. Bradman demanded attacking cricket from Benaud. Having someone (even when they havn't played for 12 years) universally respected around a team can be HUGE ! (for the game even more so than the side). Richardson 3rd day 1993, settled Lara in and dominated till sitting back and admiring when Lara reached about 70. Next day was ALL Lara (everyone sitting back and admiring)...... still wonder how Hooper survived the dressing room with stumps so close ? Sending back someone on 277 when you're on 0 is brave at very least ! Kim Hughes' innings was amazing. The pitch was a minefield and the bowling excellent, broken toe from Garner too. ( A very good player - better than Border IMPO)
    [[
    Murray, Hughes' 100 was/is in the top-14 of my initial and current Innings rating tables. Yesterday the young crop of Indian batsmen got a taste of what is real pace bowling. Add a searing head-high bouncer or two or three in each over and have 4 Steyns coming at you: that was the West indian bowling. I am amazed at the short memory people have. The way even a legend like Gavaskar is ignored is unforgivable. For that matter the legend himself has to share the blame.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • swarzi on December 5, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Ananth, Thanks for permission to congratulate Shiv for inducting himself into the '11000' Club. One thing though, contrary to the volumes of academic 'longevity and aggregates' related records that is "the outstanding feature" of Tendulkar's long career, I know that Shiv doesn't want his best records to be dominated by 'longevity and aggregate stuff'! He's much better than that! Eg: In this the 3rd consecutive year of the twilight of his career, he's avging 70+, while Sachin avgd 32+ in the said period, a difference of 38 - we're talking about two guys in their 40th year! But imagine last year, Sachin only avgd 24 in 15 inngs, while Shiv avgd 98 in the same 15 inngs, a whopping difference of 74! And knowing that he's not the 'seeking-for-the-minnows' type of batsman, I think the man is grossly underrated! Also, knowing that he was the leading scorer in the WI world record chase of 418 vs Aust; and second only to Viv Richards in scoring the fastest 100, I think he's better than SRT!
    [[
    Whether Chanderpaul is better that Tendulkar I am not sure. But his contribution to West Indian cricket is no less important.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • xpressmusic26 on December 5, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    Wonderful analysis sir....yor 2 article does justice to tendulkar's passionate 24 yrs career

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 5, 2013, 3:30 GMT

    The MCG test saw a thrilling end to the day. Lillee got Viv Richards off the last ball and West Indies were 3/10. Before that I think Hughes made his second 50 with the last man. I missed listening to this test live, but got the equally thrilling 3rd test last day. It was a very significant test - if Greg Chappell had made a few runs, the target would have been too stiff. But as it happened, Viv Richards discovered form at just the right time, and Australia lost the opportunity to make a dent in West Indies' unbeaten record. Next year's MCG test was another super thriller.

  • IPSY on December 4, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    GerrytheMerry, You are awesome with this supra-accurate description of SRT: "Tendulkar [is] a batsman with a narrowly defined parameter of success (longevity [and] aggregates)"! I tip my hat to you Sir. I tried all my best to come up with the correct description for SRT's test career; and only now I've seen it by you! Cudos man! To be fair though, you need to remind readers that this criticism is pertaining to the test cricket format. I think that he is one of the best "opening batsmen" in the ODI format! He built this reputation on the backs of all the young Indian ODI opening batsmen who opened with him; and were told that they had to 'hustle' their innings, as SRT was the anchor man. So, he always had the opportunity to build his innings while the others were asked to hurry up!

  • IPSY on December 4, 2013, 23:56 GMT

    GerrytheMerry, You are awesome with this supra-accurate description of SRT: "Tendulkar [is] a batsman with a narrowly defined parameter of success (longevity [and] aggregates)"! I tip my hat to you Sir. I tried all my best to come up with the correct description for SRT's test career; and only now I've seen it by you! Cudos man! To be fair though, you need to remind readers that this criticism is pertaining to the test cricket format. I think that he is one of the best "opening batsmen" in the ODI format! He built this reputation on the backs of all the young Indian ODI opening batsmen who opened with him; and were told that they had to 'hustle' their innings, as SRT was the anchor man. So, he always had the opportunity to build his innings while the others were asked to hurry up!

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    @Gerry_The_Merry. Another example of big matches are Ind vs Pak in WC. I would not exaggerate and tell that these matches were more important than finals as many fans do. But it is open secret that these matches were most imp after the knockouts. Even in 1996 and 2011 we had Quarterfinal and semi final with Pak. Right From 1992 then 1996, 1999, 2003, and 2011. In all 5 matches Sachin contribution was very vital. Sachin scored 313 runs with a avg of 78. He won 3 MOM in 5 matches. Faced Bowlers like Akram, Waqar, Shoaib, Aaqib Javed , Imran ( for 1 match), A Razzaq, Saqlain, Mustaq Ahmed etc. Not saying others didn't perform but his contribution was very significant. My Point here is not to compare these matches with WC finals. I would be first person who would agree that Sachin performance in WC finals are not up to his standards. But it is not correct to conclude that he lacked the big match temperament on the basis of just those matches.
    [[
    Now onwards let us stick to the Test article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry. Its not correct that Sachin doesn't perform when moment comes. In Test Ananth himself mentioned that during 50 % of time Sachin comes in difficult situation in his carrier. And out of that 45 % times he rescued his side. Out of his 51 centuries 21 centuries are in crisis only. He has to rescue his side in every alternate inng. Big ask. He did that good number of times. It proved he can bat in pressure and crisis situation. Looks like moment comes very often for Sachin. I know some players might have better rescue % or some might be in difficult situation more often than Sachin but you can't deny the fact that Sachin rescued Ind many times. Even in ODIs Sachin avg is 56 in all finals including WC, CT and tri nation series. Every true Ind Ckt fan know the importance of winning VB series in Aus or Series in sharjah. At that time there were many such tourneys but then all were very imp.

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    @Gerry_The_Merry. Even in the WC his performance was top class.Out of the world. May for you Dhoni might be having more credit for winning the 2011 WC as he hit match winning inng in final but i would give more credit to Yuvi, Sachin, Zaheer. There are many parameters to judge a player and player who ticks most of the box are legends. if you want to prioritize any particular parameter it up to you. But everyone have their own choice. You can't say that Sachin being a batsman with a narrowly defined parameter of success (longevity, aggregates) because you don't know all the parameters on which people rates him.
    [[
    In WCs, I would not say Top Class because of the lack of top performances in the Finals. However I woulkd say quite good.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry. Its your misconception that Sachin doesn't perform when moment comes. In Test Ananth himself mentioned that during 50 % of time Sachin comes in difficult situation in his carrier. And out of that 45 % times he rescued his side. Out of his 51 centuries 21 centuries are in crisis only. He has to rescue his side in every alternate inng. Big ask. He did that good number of times. It proved he can bat in pressure and crisis situation. Looks like moment comes very often for Sachin. I know some players might have better rescue % or some might be in difficult situation more often than Sachin but you can't deny the fact that Sachin rescued Ind many times. Even in ODIs Sachin avg is 56 in all finals including WC, CT and tri nation series. Every true Ind Ckt fan know the importance of winning VB series in Aus or Series in Sharjah. They might not be equal to WC butt still imp. At that time there were many such tourneys but then all were very imp. contd..
    [[
    The last sentences need pinches of salt. I support Indian cricket a lot, more in the earlier years than now. I do not think the tr-series were that great deals. At last count 160 Tri-series. Frankly Sharjah was a creation only to show India-Pakistan matches regularly. And when you add a third team. it became a Tri-series. Please do not equate the Final of a Tri-series involving Ind, Pak and Slk to a WC/CT Final with 12 or so countries competing.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Vyasa_Shastry on December 4, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Nice work Anantha. Looks like my earlier comment did not get posted. Weird. I have a couple of points which I feel you could have added: 1) Tendulkar's consistency- he is one of the few batsmen with a 40+ average against and in all countries (even after imposing a cutoff). This indicates his phenomenal consistency. 2) A byproduct of the first point is that Tendulkar never piled on the runs in a particular series like Bradman, Lara, Gavaskar etc. He was more a 1-2 hundred a series at best. I have read your earlier articles dealing with coefficient of variation and deviation from moving average in different innings slices, but this is something that could be computed perhaps- how a person batted in series- better early or later? How many good and how many bad series? 3) Is there a way I can find out the % of good innings under pressure for other batters based on point of entry scores? Vyasa.
    [[
    I think I did a series analysis by batsman sometime earlier. But it can always be done again.
    I will do the point no 3 as a later article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on December 4, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @ cenitin on (December 4, 2013, 6:29 GMT). Yes he did. I'm sorry I assumed you hadn't read it all :(. The Hsi shows some amazing stuff...... obviously as you say the standouts in weak sides...... but where is Border ? Also it shows the absolute Gems. I always knew eventually stats would show up Weekes as best ever West Indian batsman, Harvey as best Australian batsman since Bradman etc ( arrogance in blind belief ? ).Richie Benaud says ..... " PBH May is not only the best English player since the war, but perhaps the only great one"I like seeing his numbers there right next to Harvey's. Numbers are numbers..... I would argue till blue in the face for recognition of G Pollock's or even Laver's lesser numbers. Actual circumstance is all anyone playing has.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 4, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    @ Gerry and Ananth. Sachin when playing back was deeper in his crease than any other modern batsman who ever played forward (OK OK so S Waugh NEVER played forward). Of course all good players used to play back and now all good players always play forward (where does Cook fit in ?). Sachin that day milked the length not the line..... anyone else would have been pinned on front foot. He just turned anything bouncing over, away for a couple.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 4, 2013, 7:29 GMT

    @ Gerry_the_Merry. I was lucky enough to see the Perth and Melbourne innings mentioned here also live. I think Tendulkar was a better batsman than Laxman (thinking in self appointed terms of bowling to them both.... Laxman always looked like he's a chance). However, eventually Laxman scared me more. He seemed to have the capacity to win it from us. (looking at his record it REALLY was us he preyed on lol). I saw Lara's 277... magnificent, but Richardson's 100 not ever mentioned .... if you saw it all unfold you WOULD mention. Best innings I ever saw live was a non test match at MCG where Sobers reaffirmed with 254 ? ... something big.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 4, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Cenitin - many Tendulkar fans talk like this - take a statement made by members of the "Opposition" and craft a very vigorous response to it instead of making a more generalized interpretation. MilPand said that one cannot plan to be a performer in the finals and do badly in league (I had merely meant to say that great players peak when the big moment comes). Now you say that I am accusing MilPand of being a narrow thinker (I just said that he has chosen to take a narrow interpretation of what I said - in other words, derived too literal a meaning out of it). Can hardly see this as a personal comment on anyone. Besides, Tendulkar being a batsman with a narrowly defined parameter of success (longevity, aggregates) and failing in big matches, one can hardly use him to accuse anyone else of being a narrow thinker...!

  • cenitin on December 4, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    @Gerry_The_Merry. Saw your comment to Milpand and not liked it. You can't blame anyone that his thinking is narrow if you don't agree with him. Look Gilchrist was playing in the good Aus team and his team was doing good in group stages/ in knockouts (till final) without his big contribution. But you can't say same about other teams. I bet if Sachin didn't perform the way he did in Group stages/ knockouts Ind would not have finished the way they did in 1996, 2003, 2011 WC. Don't forgot in 1999 Sachin returned to Ind and Ind without Sachin lost to Zim. I knew Ind lost to Ban in 2007 WC even when Sachin was in the team. But that time whole team was not in right frame of mind. Also think that if Gilchrist knows his team will win even without his contribution most of time, pressure on him will be less. I am not belittled Gilchrist but I will prefer Sachin WC performance over Gili and I don't have any prob if you prefer Gili. Everyone is free to express their views without insulting others.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 4, 2013, 3:16 GMT

    In fact, in the innings where Tendulkar made 241 and Lax made 178, I remember two things - 1) Tendulkar scored on only 1 side of the wicket, but how did he get so many scoring opportunities? Why were the Aussies not limiting their line - or was Tendulkar able to turn balls outside the off stump also to leg? 2) Lax raced from 29 to 50 in the first 5 balls of day 2 from Brett Lee... He played some incredible inside out cover drives to the spinner - forget who it was - could not have been Warne as I bumped into him the previous day in Mumbai. He was greatly pleased that a random Indian remembered his mighty 7/161 in Cape Town two years back (I think he was excluded for taking diuertics). But in this series, there was clear evidence that pitches were beginning to slow down even in Australia.
    [[
    Probably I am wrong. However my personal belief is that if ever a batsman scores, over 80% of his runs on side of the wicket, there is something the fielding captain has missed. Especially in a long innings. Even if one misses this during the first 50 runs or so, there should be enough brain power to alert to what was happening.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 4, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    Bonehead_maz on (December 3, 2013, 22:03 GMT) - Yes. Sydney was Tendulkar's home ground, practically. His first century footage shows some stunning backfoot cover drives. His last innings at the MCG (72) was also brilliant for its sure strokeplay. People criticize his 241* at Sydney, but while it was against an attack of less than glorious reputation, he was hardly slow. He scored almost exactly 50% of the runs with Laxman in a partnership of 353. Now, none of us may answer this better than you - who was better in Sydney ? Laxman or Sachin - Laxman scored 3 centuries featuring some thrilling strokeplay. But for its significance in turning an entire series around, can't think beyond 277 by Lara. We did not have live feeds then. I was glued the entire 8 hours to Radio Australia. But generally batsmen have made merry in Sydney more than bowlers.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 3, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    @ Gerry_the_Merry on (December 3, 2013, 4:57 GMT). The SCG being my adopted home ground as a watcher, I may have seen Sachin at his absolute batting best? Some have said he's shown his best at home or against others. It's hard to believe anyone can have done much better anywhere than he at the SCG. Other than he being "fired"on an LBW from Mcgrath (2000) that would have cleared middle by a foot, and failing in that 2nd innings, he pretty much ruled the place, whenever he came to the wicket.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 3, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    @ Azfar. thanks for acceptance of such a bond. No question I think t's the greatest game ever invented. One must hand it to the English, for invention of games ! About 10 for me also..... I was spoiled, so got to watch Pataudi's side live at the Gabba (where I'd virtually grown up). The radio came in for a following very interesting return trip to India and then the horrors of South Africa, that later saw perhaps the best side ever ? banned from the game :(. (definitely not buying into the rights and wrongs, but a huge pity for those individuals to not be able to play, and for us not to see them play). Would love to share some Kieth Miller stories with you someday........ (there are lots !). Amazing you should mention Dileep Vengsarkar. In 1977/78 (as a 19 yo), I consciously modeled my batting on his. I believed he had a better all round game than GS Chappell. (particularly in playing off spin).

  • M.M.Mahendran on December 3, 2013, 19:49 GMT

    I am not a rabid SRT fan but just an admirer. All along I was under the impression that SRT was a great batsman if not the greatest (definitely not in tests). But thanks to the wonderful people who have commented here I have to admit that I was forced to change my opinion. What an ordinary batsman he has been. He has built his entire career by scoring only against Zim/Ban and third rated attacks of other teams. He was a walking wicket to any decent bowler leave alone better bowlers. That he managed to play 200 tests (the last 15 or so was atrocious anyway) is a miracle. All the other batsmen have always invariably played against the best attack. Ananth..this is an excellent tribute in your own way. From the tables you have given what surprises me is the TSI of Sehwag. He has the highest ratio of 2.33 (HSI/no. of innings). This means that whenever he top scores he makes sure that he is well ahead of the next best. Lara also comes close. Thanks again to the anti-SRT brigade.

  • swarzi on December 3, 2013, 16:40 GMT

    arajeshn, That average is 32.97! After SRT's last 100, he batted in exactly 40 Innings: 16 in 211 with one not out and an average of 40.60. In 2012, he batted in 15 innings and averaged 23.80; and in 2013 he batted in 9 innings and averaged 34.50. That gives a total number of 40 innings and an overall average of 32.97. So, you see why people want to know why Dem Religion, et al think he's "better than Bradman"! If he batted in 40 INNINGS, WHICH IS HALF OF BRADMAN'S ENTIRE CAREER, AND CAN'T SCORE A SINGLE HUNDRED; AFTER TRYING SO DESPERATELY! No other batsman who is a candidate for SECOND AFTER BRADMAN HAS ANY SUCH ABYSMAL RECORD! In fact, I'm sure that Bradman would be disappointed if the 2nd batsman after him, took half of his career trying to score a 100 and couldn't do it! He would surely ask, "What has batting come to"? He would want to know if the whole earth gone mad, when he knew lots of guys who were nearly as good as he was, in his time! So how is this guy his second?

  • Shams on December 3, 2013, 15:53 GMT

    @VK10, "Lara almost always had decent batting support." In the 90s, Tendulkar had at least 7 other team mates who averaged in the 40s, four other close to or over 50 (Kambli, Dravid, Ganguly, Ramesh) while others were mid-40s (Shastri, Sidhu, and Azharuddin). In contrast, Lara had five other team mates in the 40s, Adams and Haynes in the mid-40s. Chanderpaul, Richardson and Logie in the low 40s. Hooper was mid-30s. Same story for Tendulkar (4 nears the 50s) /Lara (2 in the mid-40s) in the 2000s. Quite a few of Lara's gems ended early as he had to take risks, trying to score quickly, while batting with the tail - 226 vs Aus, 176 vs SA, 216 vs Pak, 202 vs SA, 115 vs SA, 191 vs Zim, to name a few of the bigger scores. With better support from fellow batsmen or if he played safely, he could have scored more runs or even remained not out to pad his average up further.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 8:38 GMT

    I see. You meant Botham's 149. 149 seems to be a frequent number among the truly great innings.
    [[
    Yes, of course.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Or did you mean 149* by Gilchrist in 1999 against Pakistan, coming in at 126/5 with 245 still needed?
    [[
    I think Botham's situation was much worse. But this 149 is not going anywhere.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    149* by Gilchrist or 149 by Pietersen? Both were all time great innings.

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Shams, Tendulkar's first 3 double centuries were 217 vs NZ, 201 vs Zimbabwe and 248* vs Bangladesh. After 201, his teammates said "Tendulkar was so determined to score big today". I found it utterly disgusting and started losing interest in Tendulkar. Such determination comes at the cost of being able to raise his game against tougher opposition. However it is good for averages. His fans will take cover in citing many instances of good innings under pressure, but something like 154* by Gooch happens once in a life time (he made a hat-trick in 3 consecutive years 154*, 133, 135). If Tendulkar had not been blind to opposition quality, he would have scored better quality runs even if at a lower average. Applies to all batsmen. Richards et al chose the opposite route, so we see them usually at the bottom in aggregates. Which is why Ponting / Gilchrist can sit idle during qualifying matches, but score 140* or 149* in final. But not batsmen who use up bullets with 152/127 vs Nigeria/Kenya.
    [[
    If only I could, I would write countless odes to three scores within 5 runs of each other: the 149, 153 and 154.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Shams on December 3, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    @Dem Religion, "SRT avg. almost 60 at home" In IND in the 90s Sidhu (25 inns) and Tendulkar (48 inns) averaged close to 60. Azharuddin also averaged 50+ in this period, easily way above his career average. Dravid was an anomaly where he averaged better 'away' early in his career. In the 90s in IND, against the stronger bowling attacks of SA and Pak Tendulkar averaged below 30. Against AUS including McGrath the same story. The series against AUS where he conquered Warne didn't have McGrath/Gillespie. Other series in IND he dominated were the relatively weaker bowling attacks of ENG, NZ, WI (only Walsh, Ambrose/Bishop didn't tour), SL.

  • Shams on December 3, 2013, 6:18 GMT

    @Nitin Gautam, "as a player u play the opposition u r given and not playing to potential is ur fault come what may." Yes, Tendulkar is easily ahead of Lara in this regard, e.g. check his performances against Zim/Bd or check Tendulkar's perforamnces against a minnow SL. Lara was laid-back against opposition he didn't fancy to his own detriment.

    "Also dravid outperformed SRT in 1 test and SRT took lead in next. is that the logic?" Unfortunately, perhaps not intentionally, you have taken that comment out of context. It was referring to the performance of Tendulkar and Dravid in ENG in the 90s. They played just 2 Test matches together in ENG in the 90s!

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 5:45 GMT

    Ananth, the 53 in 160 was after 5 in 66 balls and 12 in 120 balls in the first test at the MCG. So Dravid was very badly stuck. In the 53 also, Laxman reached 50 in 40 balls, scoring almost all the runs himself, while Dravid really dragged down the momentum that Laxman had provided, and in a way, because of this Laxman also slowed down to a drag in the latter half.
    [[
    As a visiting opener, against a powerful Aussie pace attack, there is nothing wrong with a slow 50. Maybe that other-end solidity was what enabled Laxman to attack.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on December 3, 2013, 5:00 GMT

    @ Azfar on (December 2, 2013, 19:59 GMT) - Featured comment "Hi Anantha, another great effort. Congrats. People who really understand the game (I consider myself among them, pardon the immodesty), know by instinct who the really great players are. Sometimes the conventional stats of the game don't bear this out. Hence the quest for the indices which take into account the key parameters and separate the real diamonds.".................. are you my twin brother who writes better ? Charles Davis left me cold and now I am warm :). This blog is a very nice place. Especially amongst "what a difference a day makes" type (despite Mitchell, lol and wide grin) trash.
    [[
    Thanks, Murray. Australia is getting warmer by the day: in addition to the weather, also for the English players.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 3, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    Surprised no one mentioned 154* in Sydney (monkey-gate). I think people remember what is talked about in the media, and that feeds on itself. In 154*, we had lost the first test in Brisbane, Dravid was a massive let down as opener and one-drop. Laxman came in at one-drop and blazed an utterly brilliant century, but left before the total mounted to serious proportions, but Tendulkar stayed on and largely with the tail, took our score to 532 and a position of lead. We still lost the match, but due to a shocking collapse in the second innings. But in terms of what Tendulkar did, it was exactly similar to 146 in Cape Town.
    [[
    I wanted to cover all places. Hence no more than 3 for Australia. It was a potentially match-winning innings and on another 6 January, could have been so. 53 off 160 balls cannot really be termed a massive let-down.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on December 3, 2013, 0:53 GMT

    Attempting to balance the pros and cons of one great player (aussie perspective). I picked Tendulkar in my world's best ever 15 test squad when I first discovered Ananth's wonderful blog space. I didn't pick Lara, and wonder how while he's being spoken of with awe, Sobers' name is not mentioned ?..... they looked similar in style and quality as batsmen to me. The sensible mentioning here of SRT's longevity is pertinent. (Agree with total runs). Just makes me realise/wonder how great Jack Hobbs really was.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 3, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    @ cenitin on (December 2, 2013, 12:46 GMT). "I know we can't consider all aspects but this method is biased towards player played in weak batting line ups ". How on earth did Bradman, Hobbs, Weekes, Harvey and May get such high measurements? (agree with Barrington and Len) Were they playing in weak batting sides ? What's really interesting to me about the HSI lists is where guys considered as "the only decent player in the side " like Border sit..... or Greg Chappell even... or so many can't be bothered listing them. Although the HSI is exciting, this article was about one player. It showed many many ways to assess what he personally has achieved...... and it's been a very great deal !

  • Azfar on December 2, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    Very surprised to see Darryl Cullinan very high in the HSI. And like you quite disappointed to see Dravid so low down and even Viv and SRT quite low down. There is another question which intrigues me, not directly related to SRT. There are some players whose stats are quite impressive but they are not remembered so much as another one with similar stats. A case in point is Dileep Vengsarkar. As time is passing not a lot of people talk about him in the same breath as (say) GR Vishwanath whose record will e very similar in Tests. Even Mohinder Amarnath is considered better. To some extent Kallis also falls into this category, his record is perhaps better than any in the history of the game, but he rarely gets a mention in the games greatest. Why do you think it is so?
    [[
    I think the self-effacing nature of these players and the fact that they have shared their space with other starts have reduced their sheen. Despite his recent string of failures, 14 innings-300 runs-21 avge, Kallis currently averages 55.33. No one talks about him. Because he is unexciting or goes about his task in a quiet manner. What Vengsarkar did in England, almost no other batsmen did. Some of his hundreds there were phenomenal.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Anantha Agreed 111 was special considering teen age facing tough bowling on unchartered waters (just trying being as poetic as you) still almanack report says it was not an assured inning with lots of hits n miss. Yet i could not see either and all I envisage is based on writings that I read. 169 was against the odds on experienced menacing bowlers, being captain, adding 200+ in 40 overs (Azhar was just equally incredible) from 58/5 after being touted as minnows (India was perennail minnow in 90s) after conceding a serial lead of 1. Anyways no complaints to 111 either. among his best...difficult yet 136 (wud hv been a 153* if not for ruch of blood after serious back prob against one of the best ever attack) stands head and shoulder above in my eyes. rest varies from gud to too gud to ordiary to lucky too, yet 241 also stands out for sheer dedication. I seriously dont care if SRT is 1000th ranked player or disliked like devil.. for me he along with lara made me fall into the game
    [[
    I was tempted to include the 74 also. However there just was not enough space. In a way I am happy he missed the 100 but played an almost perfect innings. The first mistake, on another day Sammy would not have caught it, was his last. Those trademark shots were all there. There was one loose waft, that is all.
    I can assure you that he was, and is, a very well liked person. I may make a statement like he should have retired 15 Tests earlier. But that is like my saying , if Federer has a pedestrian 6/7 months, that he should retire after the 2014 US Open.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    IPSY - Just had to say that your comment is a pretty "narrow and rudimentary" reading of MY comment ! I referred to one particular table only - the HSI table. In my humble opinion this table is essentially "peformance of batsman relative to own teammates". I honestly don't see what else one may make of it.

  • on December 2, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Shams. "Yes it does! The ratings reflect the quality and form of batsmen playing, so when they are dismissed cheaply it indirectly reflects as being tough pitch conditions."...Poor Anantha and us readers and commentators have then utterly wasted countless hours on this.

    "They are good numbers, not as awesome as people tend to make his performance of the 90s." You may use any adjective of your choosing -"good", "so-so", "ho-hum"...etc. At the end of the day the fact remains that through the 1990s they were the best numbers in the world.

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Shams."There is no if, Tendulkar did score runs at home just like most other Indian batsmen!" SRT avg. almost 60 at home. 4 other Indian batsmen who played in the 1990s for more than 10 matches avg. more than 50. Inc. Kambli. Dravid avg.40.in 28 inn. with 1 100. Since we are on the topic , Dravid did not handle Murali and Warne well either. And please not isolated innings as counterproof. In any single given inn. there are too many variables- poor bowler form, chances, decisions etc etc.Several good innings over a reasonable period of time are required. For eg. VVS vs. Aus - He has several gems spread out over many years.

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:15 GMT

    Contd... So, For eg. in the 1990s SRT played 69 Tests. In the 4 yrs from 2003-07 a Hayden played 52 Tests when in the form of his life. And piled on big runs at a great avg. Hayden had a very brief , though poor start to his career. But this particular phase in the mid 2000s rocketed his "peak ICC rating" to 10th best of all time way ahead of even SRT , Lara etc.

    Even leading to recent BBC articles on this ! Now - the LEAST we supposed "cricket fans" can do is acknowledge and UNDERSTAND how this incredible skew came about ! Merely parroting "aggregate" is all- without adequate background and context is all very well if the stats turn out the way you wish them to.

    But , SURELY, any contextual and "Realistic" appreciation of the game MUST take this into account?

  • on December 2, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    Shams: 1)Your argument seems to go something like this : " It is claimed X is the best. However, if we can find some particular bowler ,or other permutation and combination of our choosing- and show that in those parameters Y,Z do better, then the thesis that X is the best is nullified. QED."...There is not much one can say about this.

    2)You may use aggregate if you please. However, if one is willing to look at it in a clear manner then this is a perfect method only if the frequency of matches is similar. So - for eg. in Tennis you have 4 GS per year ( period). Not more - Not less. A player in the form of his life cannot win 8 GS a year. No matter what he can win only 4.

    Contd....

  • IPSY on December 2, 2013, 15:41 GMT

    Ananth, Let me show Dem Religion when the world realised that Brian Lara was beyond any batsman that the world had seen before his time; during his time and possibly after his time: It was when he took just a bit over 4 moths to regain his record for the highest individual score of 400 Not Out! Remember he came and met that said record standing for almost 40 long years; and in just his 4th season, he removed with such consummate ease, never seen in batting history; and did so again in 4 months after Mat Hayden took it against Zimbabwe! And why the world knows that he is better than SRT in particular; you see SRT taking 3 LONG years, and 40 CONSECUTIVE INNINGS, trying desperately to score a 100 and COULD NOT? Don't bet your money against Brian Lara: he's 44 now; but if he takes a fortnight and gets himself fit, and decides to make 401 not out - I repeat, don't bet against him, he will do it! That's the difference between him and SRT! Fans, 40 INNINGS IS EXACTLY HALF OF BRADMAN'S CAREER!

  • IPSY on December 2, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Ananth, Instead of Dem Religion doing this difficult poll, he may research the VERDICT that was reached by ESPN/Cricinfo's Sanjay Manjreaker, in debate with cricket experts Toney Greig, Ravi Shastri, Ian Chappell and John Wright, on ESPN/Crincinfo's 'Round Table' show in Novemeber, 2006; the same month when Lara played his last test innings. The question was:"Who is the greatest of the modern batsmen"? The debate left them with 3 names (Tendulkar, Lara and Pontin) to choose one. The unanimous 5 to 0 decision was the "Brian Lara"! That's enough evidence for me: when five experts: 2 of them SRT's former team mates; one his former coach, one the brother of his former coach, and the other a great admirer of SRT said so! NOTE LARA HAD NOT ONE DOG IN THAT FIGHT; yet they picked him! This is the fairest decision since this ongoing debate! Why? SRT and Lara started their careers almost the same time; and after 16 yrs playing against same oppositions, etc. It was the RIGHT TIME to judge them.

  • IPSY on December 2, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    Hi Ananth, a 'TOP CLASS' piece of work once more! I'm enjoying the debate that it's generating! I notice that one of your readers, "Dem Religion" has described this outstanding piece of work, in terms such as "rudimentary table"; and "narrow table" etc! Yet, you published his criticisms, which is the correct thing to do! All of us would be criticised sometime in our lives; justifiably, or "unjustifiably"'; as I think he is doing with this superb piece of work! Nonetheless, I noticed that he has been 'ultra-vitriolic' in response to those who criticise him; to the point of introducing the word "vitriolic" - it's amazing! I noted also that all that he wants to hear from everybody is that "Tendulkar is better than Lara"! But it doesn't even need all this top class statistical analysis to prove him wrong! Let him do his own neutral poll outside of India and the West Indies, to find out the opinion of cricket enthusiasts worldwide on the matter, then give us all, the true result! Cont'd:
    [[
    As I have already mentined earlier, I have only junked two comments, both as requested by the senders, Murray and Shams (because he had given his mailid in that). I had to erase a single comment for the language used and the tone. Otherwise I have no problem. Actually compared to many others, Dem Religion is fine.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Shams on December 2, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @Dem Religion, "A greater weight does not mean it completely eliminates the drag created by a slow start." But it factors in recent form more strongly.

    "One of the key problems is that the "team score" does not incorporate the actual quality or form of the batsmen dismissed." Yes it does! The ratings reflect the quality and form of batsmen playing, so when they are dismissed cheaply it indirectly reflects as being tough pitch conditions.

  • Shams on December 2, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @Dem Religion, "And if SRT did score at home -as he did almost everywhere else- why didn't other batsmen?" There is no if, Tendulkar did score runs at home just like most other Indian batsmen!

    "in the 1990s Lara avg. 59.3 at home and 44.6 away" That includes the 1996-2002 period of lean form. The pitches in the 90s in WI were not as pace unfriendly (major attack of all non-subcontinent teams) as in IND. Even then raw averages need to be taken with a grain of salt. One needs to include the quality of bowling faced. Lara played a bulk of matches against the two Ws, McGrath, Gillespie, Warne, Gough, Donald, Pollock, etc.

  • Shams on December 2, 2013, 12:51 GMT

    @Dem Religion, Many of your arguments will go away once opponent quality is taken into account in some statistical measure.

    "So, you have added minnows as you see fit." Please elaborate on why you do not see ZIM, SL and to an extent NZ as minnows of the 90s?

    "the pre-doosra Murali was on top of Lara." That Lara had a penchant for being careless against teams he perceived as minnows is well-known. WI perceived SL as minnows which is why they avoided playing Tests against them in the 90s. They played just 3 in the 90s, at least two affected by rain.

    "Frankly, what you have posted are simply awesome numbers" They are good numbers, not as awesome as people tend to make his performance of the 90s.

    "SRT outperformed Dravid in England" You want to count Dravid's debut series to compare against Tendulkar when he was established? Even so, Dravid outperformed Tendulkar in his debut match, Tendulkar performed better in the next match.

  • cenitin on December 2, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    Ananth, Good analysis. But this analysis just showed the dependency of any player for his team. For e.g see the TSI R Ponting .3750, Dravid .4372, M Hussey .2968, Kallis .4321 and compare with De Silva .5212, Chanderpaul .5115, Collingwood .3219 and M Yousuf .5012. No offence to later but you can't say Collingwood was better than Hussey or Desilva was better than Kallis. Clearly batsman which were part of strong batting line up will not be rated so highly in this method. We can say that during their playing days SL was more dependent on Desilva than Aus on Ponting. Same is the case with Lara also. His TSI shows dependency of WI team on him. I would have liked some balanced method which do justice to all. I know we can't consider all aspects but this method is biased towards player played in weak batting line ups and we can't conclude much from this. As a Ind fan I know the imp of Dravid and my friends from SA and Aus will be thinking the same about Kallis and Ponting respectively.
    [[
    The purpose of every table is not to say that A is better than B and B is better than C. These are additional insights and give pointers for better understanding of the players involved.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 2, 2013, 12:13 GMT

    Dem Religion - that article you mention was the first article. The one I have posted is the last in the series before Ananth moved on to other things.

  • cricspecial on December 2, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Comment deleted.
    [[
    You are sure you have read the article fully and understood what has been done. And may I ask why should not Chanderpaul or Flower or Sehwag be rated higher than Tendulkar in one table or other. And because of words you have used, your comment has been removed. So you will not have the satisfaction of seeing your comment published. A simple suggestion. Please stay out of articles which require some cricket knowledge and common sense.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • marcusvierte on December 2, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    In the third and fourth innings, when India were trailing by more than 150 or chasing a target of 300 runs or so, I remember being disappointed quite a few times with the team's performance in general and his performance in particular. Can an analysis of this kind be made?
    [[
    Some time back I did a series of apecials by innings. But those were anecdotal ones, aoided by some analysis. A look at all fourth innings performances is another option. Let me see when it can be done.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 2, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Ananth, if you do innings rating, that will suffice. Presumably many degree of difficulty factors will be incorporated there also. After that, the formula will be like this: if Vi is the variable pertaining to degree of difficulty, and Wi is the weight age, where I runs from 1 to n, and X is the innings rating...

    Then, SIGMA (Wi*Vi) from 1 till n = x.

    But one of the factors may be runs scored, which we can call R. Let the associated weight age be Wr.

    Then X - Wr*R = degree of difficulty say D.

    Now drop D into three different buckets Easy, Par, Tough. Since each innings will have a D, it will be possible to extract all easy, par and tough scores separately, and compute averages.

  • on December 2, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    Admin, I am seeing you guys have removed my earlier comment. I guess you dont have answer for my comment that is why you removed it. As a regular reader of cricinfo I did not liked it.
    [[
    I am the only one who edits the comments. In this articl I have junked only two comments. Both were private messages to me specifically asking me not to publish. So there has been no comment of yours which has been removed. I can assure you that. I am seeing in front of me "Junk Comments - 2".
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    Shams " 1990s: in AUS 13 Inns @ 49.75, in ENG 10 inns @ 74.77, in IND 48 inns @ 59.88, in NZ 9 inns @ 49.75, in PAK 6 inns @ 35.83, in SA 12 inns @ 36.91, in SL 8 inns @ 111.66, in WI 6 inns @ 57.80, in ZIM 3 inns @ 13.66.". So, you have added minnows as you see fit. Strangely ,the pre-doosra Murali was on top of Lara. Or Dravid avg 46 in SL against the same pre-doosra Murali.The Pak innings were Pre 1990s. Frankly, what you have posted are simply awesome numbers. How come you fail to mention that when SRT outperformed Dravid in England ,Dravid didnt play certain bowlers either ? And if SRT did score at home -as he did almost everywhere else- why didn't other batsmen? Also , you have failed to notice that in the 1990s Lara avg. 59.3 at home and 44.6 away. As mentioned often ( ad naseum to use Ananthas fave term) - you can always pick certain flaws or "drawbacks"- but I don't see how you can pick any other batsman but SRT as the player of the 1990s.

  • on December 2, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    Shams. A greater weight does not mean it completely eliminates the drag created by a slow start. "pitch conditions can be estimated from bowler/batsmen quality on offer and team score" - This is an old ,worn issue. And many attempts have been made. One of the key problems is that the "team score" does not incorporate the actual quality or form of the batsmen dismissed. So, for eg. poor batsmen getting out may not mean the pitch is a devil.

  • on December 2, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    @Gerry- I recall that article. A key issue was the sharp cut offs. Say a tough group is between 25-28. And mid group 28-32. Player A may have some innings at 27.8 and B at 28.2. Tough innings may not mean that they have been played at the upper scale of a group -for eg at around 25. Some sort of graph would have made things clearer.

  • Shams on December 2, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    @Dem Religion regarding the ICC ratings: "The ICC ratings are cumulative" - ICC ratings gives recent performances more weight, so a slow start should not hamper a player much. "The ratings do not incorporate pitch conditions" - not true, it factors all sorts of things, pitch conditions can be estimated from bowler/batsmen quality on offer and team score. "Dravid ( and just about everyone) will vastly outperform SRT in the 4 yr period" The whole point is to do an aggregate analysis, not an analysis on some particular period. Await your response on the breakdown of the 90s performance.

  • shari1110 on December 2, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Ananth, Excellent piece on Sachin's career. Together with the ODI piece was an amazing read. There were a few eyeopeners which came out. My perception had always been that while SRT had a slow start on the ODI side, he had been seen relatively quick success on the Test arena. This shows, that even in the test matches he took some time to come into his own (even though we were preview to some lovely innings early on - Perth, Manchester and Jo'berg being the case in points). The other confirmation which i got was that in around 50% of his innings, he had to come in with the situation being tight. While i had always heard people saying that he always carried a lot of burden, the statistical proof had not been seen. Finally, while initial reaction was to see if such things could be compared with other greats, i decide to go along with the spirit of the article and enjoy this as an analysis (stand alone) of a cricketer who stands alone (at least in my heart).
    [[
    That is the way to go. No one can shake his status within you. But nothing wrong in learning more.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 6:13 GMT

    "RpT is meaningless only because it does not suit the argument being made." No. An oversimplification would be one batsman playing 100 innings in 50 Tests and another playing 80. How on earth can a direct comparison be made? Also- RPI clearly means that a not out batsman will EVER add a single run to his tally. Another incorrect assumption. The batting average is the closest we can get to some sort of "reality". We may argue about its flaws but at least it simply does not ignore or eliminate certain key issues.

  • on December 2, 2013, 6:01 GMT

    Shams. The following should be borne in mind: 1)The ICC ratings are cumulative. Players with a poor start like SRT will naturally have this drag on the ratings. 2)The ratings do not incorporate pitch conditions. Just some bowler algo. 3)Dravid ( and just about everyone) will vastly outperform SRT in the 4 yr period. The remaining 12 yrs of Dravids career will see SRT outperform him. So- depends what "prism" of reality you wish to look at it.

    Anantha, The observations I made are because we are well aware of the SRT fans such as myself. But ,truth be told, the anti SRT camp is if anything even more "religiously fanatical". Clint Nelson seems to be on the verge of busting a gut in some of his comments.

  • Shams on December 2, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @Dem Religion, In the 1990s, Zim, SL and to an extent NZ were the minnows :) Please refer to my breakdown of Tendulkar's stats in the 90s in an earlier comment. There you can see Tendulkar mainly thrived in IND, SL and ENG. The subcontinent was here fast bowlers were least effective neutering the main threat from the major Test teams. SL had a weak bowling attack. Tendulkar didn't face Caddick/Gough in ENG in the 90s. Re. the billion pressure, does every Indian watch and follow cricket? India's population in 1989 was around 850 million and officially reached 1 billion in 1997. Btw, Lara faced the pressures of an antagonistic board, possibly teammates, and even his own insular caribbean cricket fans so much as he even feared for his life. Lara mentioned this in passing in a recent speech he gave while praising Walsh who walked with him in Jamaica during the 99 Aus series.
    [[
    Shans, If you click on my name in the home page of "The Cordon" you will get the recent 20 articles which have been published. Go below and click "Next" you will get the next 20 and so on. All my 150 or so have been shown there. You would probably get these article in the fourth or fifth screen since these were published during 2011.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Outstanding analysis ... seems to lay the famous "greatness" debate to rest forever

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 2, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Shams - I think this is the article which does what you ask.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/blogs/content/story/620754.html

    In this the approach was developed by Ananth, with an army of readers supplying ideas and requests, which he tackled on the fly. Over 12 months it evolved into a refined analysis, which could have been further refined. Note how Tendulkar fans changed from supporting him blindly to supporting him while acknowledging other great batsmen, which is how it should be.

    The approach is principally to extract "tough innings" from a career by combining many of the factors you have mentioned, and taking the actual runs scored in such innings. Similarly middle degree of difficulty, and easy runs.

    Following this version, Ananth introduced a period averaging variable in the next version, which I was totally surprised by, as it had not been part of any previous discussions, but it was entirely his prerogative.
    [[
    Gerry, So much water has passed under the bridge, to fill up a couple of oceans. I have even forgotten what were the tweaks I had made. So have to probably start from scratch.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Hence I am now waiting only for innings rating article.

  • on December 2, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Similarly all this talk about Lara is over cooked. It may well be the best thing to have happened to Lara. Forcing him to dig deep. As mentioned - the proof of any theory is it's corollary. This may be stated something like "If Viv had batted in Lara's team he would have avg. maybe 35 because of the weak team"- I highly doubt it. Also, most of Lara's great innings are the high pressure ones. 4 top batsmen all pitching in , in those innings would hardly have made them to epic.

  • on December 2, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    Shams. However you look at it the mid 2000s 4 yr period is pivotal in SRTs career vis-à-vis his peers. And the reason is clearly injury. My other point is that additional "pressure" is not necessarily a bad thing. Notice I NEVER talk about the "billion plus " pressure on SRT. Once the initial butterflies are quitened- a clear problem in a one ball game like cricket- a top sportsman actually feeds off the pressure. I elaborated by the Dravid/SRT example. In the 1990s (MINUS Ban/Zim) - SRT avg. 59.4. Next for other players who played through the decade was Waugh with 52. Clearly the additional "pressure" wasn't a factor? When SRT started to fade - Dravid actually picked up the slack to become the main man.
    [[
    That much I give you credit. You do not bring in the often misued and exaggerated word "billion" used by media, ad nauseum.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 2, 2013, 4:07 GMT

    Ananth, I hope all your best articles, especially the one on the comprehensive test innings ratings, come in the next three months. Once the cricket scene returns to mindless clouting of sixes in small Indian grounds by Dhoni with his helicopter shot (which mysteriously fails everytime our team is thrashed 8-0) and other flat trackers like Shikhar Dhawan (I am straightaway predicting that the instant creation of stars like him will not protect him from fast wickets in SA) I will lose interest and not visit cricinfo site or anything in it. Currently it is due to Ashes and India visiting South Africa and Tendulkar's retirement that I am again interested.
    [[
    I take the trouble of mailing you the publishing of each article. So you could come back, even for a short while, when you see something like "Head-to-head battles during the Ashes series".
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Also Tendulkar did have some injuries, and his fans speak if the injuries happened to them and not just him. But Tendulkar was also able to play on as a player, and not take the responsibility of captaincy which others have shouldered. In the end all these things even out.
    [[
    You might just have hit the nail on the head. Maybe the injuries had a serious impact on the followers of SRT. Just as I feel Federer's back injuries myself !!!
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Anantha, "That applies to Dem Religion also. I am sure he has been an integral part of our halycon "It Figures" days."

    I was. But then tapered off since the articles and comments had started taking on a uniform bias-and some pretty vitriolic ones at that. I won't be more specific than that.

    In any case, like Gerry, my anonymity is far more important to me- and revealing my "real name" hardly serves much purpose. Essentially- my comments are those of a hard core cricket fan for over four decades , more specifically( if everyone hasn't guessed by now )- an SRT fan.

    As often mentioned he cannot and does not top every "vertical" in every permutation and combination of every analysis ( Only perhaps Bradman does). However, In my book- after all is said and done- and the "totals" totted up - The guy is No.1.
    [[
    That is fine. You have the right to remain anonymous.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    Shams- I think it is fair to say that Dravid was the best modern player in England. Not just vis-a-vis SRT but right across the board. His style of boundless patience and concentration trumped all batsmen as far as playing in England is concerned. Otherwise when playing against and IN the other major Test forces during the past couple of decades or so-i.e Australia and South Africa ,Dravid did not do particularly well.For some reason in Sri Lanka either. Dravid was the modern day Master against swing bowling ,bar none. But against pure and raw pace and bounce this was not so.

  • Minimus on December 2, 2013, 3:33 GMT

    An excellent analysis. Thank you! I have the following comments. Please pardon me in case I missed something. HSI: Let's say an innings was a disaster. The top score is 24 and the second highest score was 12. The HSI would have respectively been 2 and 0.5. Is it fair?
    [[
    As of now, in this first effort, I have just done the numbers. But in the complete artyicle I will take care. However this has to be done carefully. If a team is all out for 40, the top score of 20 will as valuable as a 100 out of 200.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    And unlike ODIs, Tests are more of a team game. I cringe when somebody blames Sachin (or any other batsmen/bowler for that matter) for not winning test matches. I mean after a brilliant 100 what can he do if the bowlers cannot dismiss the opponents (a case in point, Bloemfontein).
    [[
    But that is the measure. In the early 1900s one can say "It is how you play the game that matters". Today it is the result that matters a lot. I am not one who thinks that it is only winning that matters. However I have to build in parameters which REWARD results than penalise losses. de Villiers & Amla have to take the blame for not taking their team past the post a few days back. They left it the others. And the others failed. But de Villiers accepted responsibility for this lapse. So consider my winning-related points as rewards. If you do not win you do not get rewards. Nor do you get penalized. Is it not fair.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    5) The batting average is the closest available measure since it at least incorporates not outs ( the pros and cons of which are open to debate). A further refinement of the average is the PEER average. An absolute figure for batting average is again vague. Your previous analyses show that in terms of peer averages Viv and SRT score over their peers. Even a 10 yr peak average has Viv and SRT on top in their eras. 6) Over a 24 yr career, along with the hundreds of ODIs , and more Test runs than anyone SRT still has a career avg. of 54. Just a couple of his contemporaries have higher. And who knows how their careers will peter out. What would Federer's career avg. be when he retires. Essentially, SRT has a strong case for best batsman of the era in both formats. As Atherton, not a particularly strong SRT fan stated "For nearly 25 years, he has been the gold standard. The batsman against whom all others are measured".
    [[
    You have quoted one player who has praised SRT. Today, that is the in thing. There are others who have praised other players. Atherton is not the greatest student of the game. For that matter, the others. That also say what the influential listeners want to hear.
    I can certainly do analysis in both ODIs and Tests, which puts Tendulkar no.1, ahead of the no.2 by a matter of 20%. One change to my programs will do it. Just double the longevity parameter points, that is all. And to hell with anything else. A WC win can also be equated to a Sharjah win, if it helps. I am sorry for being sarcastic. But I cannot help but feel that there is only one objective in front of you, come what may.
    No one can take Federer's 17 GS titles, 36 consecutive QF, 26 consecutive SF, 300 weeks at no.1, 6 year-end titles, 5 years at no.1 from him. It does not matter when he retires.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    @Murray: Lara seems to be isolated on many occasions due to poor team mates, but Sachin had pretty good team with him in 99 (at least on paper) and please change you name to who you are, though nobody knows me, I would still want to post as me... its a request to every one including Gerry. 50 years down the (If I was still alive.. lol) I will be telling my great grand kids how knowledgeable a community member named say "Duleep Ghavari" was I don't want to say some guy, I don't know what his name was! Thanks.
    [[
    That applies to Dem Religion also. I am sure he has been an integral part of our halycon "It Figures" days. Murray's words have a lot of substance and it is upto him to post under his own name.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    @Ananth, Holidays are over and sadly I have to get back to my hibernation, but as usual, will be visiting you your site. Thanks for keeping me in your mailing list. It was a pleasure reading those lines about Hick from you. He was what he was, don't understand why lot of ex-players bad mouth about him. I have seen quite a few above-average international careers with even worse technique against shortpitch deliveries. And those very ex-players are praising them to no end.
    [[
    All the best and keep reading. The two HSI articles are scheduled for Dec 28 and Feb 9.
    Many thanks for the wonderful informed comments. Mutual respect is far more important than agreement on points made.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 3:26 GMT

    1) The RpT is meaningless since the number of innings may be different. 2) The RPI is wholly incomplete- because a top ,set not out batsman will certainly add to his tally over a number of such innings. 3) The Test win % is again clearly dependent on the rest of the team. Totally absurd to assume that a batsman can win Tests on his own especially without the bowlers getting their 20 wickets. In ODIs a batsman can single handedly have a greater impact. 4) Parameters such as the HIS index are simply " How much a batsman did better than his team-mates' - However one may attempt to slice and dice this .That is all it reveals. This may make some sense when comparing team-mates and that too those who have parallel careers. Sehwag placing higher than SRT - Sehwag's career is around half SRTs , Sehwag scored most of his runs in the 2000s.etc.
    [[
    RpT is meaningless only because it does not suit the argument being made. How do you measure longevity. I do it solely by Runs scored. And Runs scored is a product of Number of Tests and RpT. RpT is a measure of the player productivity. It is also funny how one reader earlier argued against RpT when it came to batting but was ready to accept WpT when it comes to bowling.
    RpI has never been suggested, in Tests. In ODIs, it is very relevant.
    You cannot have the cake, eat it and hope to sell it. Maybe the rest of the team. But the guy who has contributed to many wins has to get at least some credit. WC wins in ODIs is an important fractor. That cannot be wished away.
    I get the feeling these objections are made only because these work unfavourably in the current situation. Playing in 200 Tests is a very significant achievement. So is averaging 99 in 52 Tests, so is winning 70 Tests, so is playing in 100 Tests and averaging 58, so is having 90+ as RpT. Any batsmen analysis will have all these factors.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Contd...

  • adityanathjha on December 2, 2013, 3:15 GMT

    hi anantha - the amazing thing about sachin's career was his consistency. what is more amazing, though, is that he was so consistent, that he never "spiked" above that to dominate a series - forget a 700 run series; he didn't have a 500 run series. Over 24 years, one doesn't remember a single "sachin series". It's something I find intriguing!
    [[
    It is open to debate whether two series with 700 & 300 runs are better than two at 500 runs each. I would say one thing. If two players from the same team have numbers like 700/300 and 300/700, they are likely to win both series.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    ut end result would only show the end result. We can't do it for innings or even tests. Ideally we can take a few test block say 10, and get the % and then move to 11th test and take the index for 2-11 tests and so on. This can be done for only a select few and then a common graph can be plotted with each player represented with a different color bar. Bear in mind that this will only be representative of the performance of a player compared to his team mates at that juncture and not much but will give better idea of how much a poor/lesser colleagues a player had. My guess... lots of myths about Sachin/Lara peers will be proved otherwise. Here again top order player will have advantage so its better to take averages and now those not out guys will have advantage.. Can't decide on this - subtract half of everybody's not outs... lol.
    [[
    On HSI what is presented here is an uncut stone. Let us wait for the complete articles before deciding whether the stone turns to be carbon or diamond.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Testcricfan on December 2, 2013, 3:08 GMT

    As an aside to earlier comment, request you to consider doing separate age-wise/ breakups when doing trend analysis - Reason being, though modern players play much more cricket - Alistair cook is set to play his 100th test within 8 years and would probably play 200 tests - most of the cricket careers are still typically between 20 and 37 and definitely so in case of almost all the great players. So, it gives a more uniform basis to identify sustained periods of excellence or specific hot streaks - rather than say 10 tests or any other number of matches. It would be good to see the performance of different players compared for a year or between the ages 20-30 etc. which is not subject to amount of cricket played, but more indicative of how good the player for a sustained period. Just an opinion, hope it is worthwhile to explore further by great statisticians like you.
    [[
    I understand what you say. When I see the CTD numbers, the first 1000 were scored at an average of around 35 and the last 1000 at a still lower average. So the middle 13800 or so should be probably at 56+. However that is the way many careers go. We can always do the best 15 years of a player's career. But that will not obviate the fact that the other years might be ordinary. And let us not forget that the first 15 Tests were not under his controil but the last 16 Tests, at an average of 29.5 were 100% under Tendulkar's control. It was his choice to continue until Test no 200. Anyhow I do not have the date of birth in my database and do not intend to have it. I leave those analysis for Cricinfo.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Cool_Jeeves on December 2, 2013, 3:04 GMT

    Ananth, this time I must admit - the responses more balanced and not the usual one sided type.
    [[
    I was the one who made that mistake in the previous article. Now I am determined that there would be no highjacking. Also I have decided to allow the readers to fight it out.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Shams - you are largely accurate - in fact, towards the end of the previous article on one dayers, i had posted very similar information on Tendulkar in response to Centin - differentiating for instance between his averages in Australia and his averages in Australia against Australia. Similarly SA and Eng. But the test article soon took precedence. In the 1999 tour, Tendulkar batted well, but in the context of a heavy loss and decent but not menacing pace bowling (there was no Gillespie. Brett Lee was a threat in 2 tests but in his debut series). However, from Ananth's table, it turns out that he faced McGrath only 45 balls for 5 runs and once out, IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER. How is that possible? I thought Tendulkar played around 8 or 9 tests involving McGrath. So only 5 balls per test? 2.5 per innings from McGrath to Tendulkar?
    [[
    It only shows that your decision to stay out of thee scene during the past 6 months was wrong. I have done a series of articles using the ball-by-ball data mined by Milind, a truly wonderful effort indeed. You have missed all those articles. Even in this article that reference is there. Pl do a search for 1546.
    The ball-by-ball data is available only for match no 1546 (2001) onwards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 2, 2013, 2:56 GMT

    HSI is an intriguing concept. But I don't think it leads anywhere. There are some generalizations 1. a good player in weak team 2. a top order player have better chance, especially in incomplete innings 3. A batsman who is extraordinarily good 4. A batsman when scores, scores big. 4. A player scores only when everybody else fails. There might be some other situations. A good HSI could be due to any of these factors or combination. But its not an index when checked in isolation can actually say something explicitly. BTW Taylor, Haden Lawry and Slater are only players who have always opened the batting, Taylor leads with 186 innings. Not surprisingly all these have better HSI than Ponting. MEK Hussey/M. Waugh/Martyn/Gilly are at the bottom. If teams reliance of a player is to be measured then the % of team's run scored should be taken into account. Now that for a long career like Sachin it can become a little complicated as it changes a lot. Cont..

  • Testcricfan on December 2, 2013, 2:48 GMT

    Ananth Sir, Great analysis shedding new light on the mostly analyzed batting career of the modern era...Quite balanced and objective as always in your approach! My two cents on the statistics - The single biggest feature of Tendulkar's career has been its sheer length - He started at 16 and went on till 40 - starting 3 years earlier and quitting 3 years later than other greats. In my opinion, This has been a double edged sword when analyzing his greatness statswise - The fact is though he started when much younger and stayed on for much longer than average, he did not perform creditably when compared to his own overall record, which is natural for any sportsman, and this skews his records considerably when compared to his overall record -http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?agemax2=37;agemin2=20;ageval2=age;class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=batting_average;qualmin1=4000;qualval1=runs;template=results;type=batting (contd...)

  • on December 2, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    Anantha, Great analysis. Regarding Sachin's One day records, Tendulkar was the top scorer in two world cups( 96 and 03) and second in 11. He was the major contributor in India reaching two finals and one semi finals. If you look at alll the big scorers in the finals ( Lyoid, Richards, Ponting, Jeyawardana) and Dhoni, all of it were their first significant contribution in the competition and up to that point, they were riding on others to the finals. Is it not Law of Average is a Bi...h? Jayasuirya (96), Greendige ( 79), Gooch ( 87 and 91), jeyawardana ( 07), Dilshan ( 11), and Tendulkar ( 03, 11), all played major contribution to their team success in reaching finals, but failed in finals. They did not mean that they failed in the cup. Also, Lara considered as the match winner. But his performance in world cups is very average and probably worst than any top 10 players of his era! Same goes to Inzumam.Can you pl include the overall contribution in world cup in your analysis?

  • Bonehead_maz on December 2, 2013, 0:48 GMT

    I guess I'd be the only one diving into those numbers wondering ..... "where the hell are Harvey and May" ? ....... :) right where they belong ! That batting position 3.65 is a tough place to play !

  • on December 2, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    Anantha, Great analysis. Came across your's Tendulkar one day analysis only now. Missed commenting on your take on his World cup performance. Tendulkar was the top scorer in two world cups( 96 and 03) and second in 11. He was the major contributor in India reaching two finals and one semi finals. If you look at alll the big scorers in the finals ( Lyoid, Richards, Ponting, Jeyawardana) and Dhoni, all of it were their first significant contribution in the competition and up to that point, they were riding on others to the finals. Is it not Law of Average is a Bi...h? Jayasuirya (96), Greendige ( 79), Gooch ( 87 and 91), jeyawardana ( 07), Dilshan ( 11), and Tendulkar ( 03, 11), all played major contribution to their team success in reaching finals, but failed in finals. They did not mean that they failed in the cup. Also, Lara considered as the match winner. But his performance in world cups was very average and probably worst than any top 10 players of his era! Same goes to Inzumam!

  • on December 1, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    Excellent analysis! I especially love the HSI part. But I wonder if you can do the HSI analysis and group them by team wins, team losses, tame draws, exciting draws etc? Also, would it make sense to somehow combine HSI values and team situation when the batsman came in to bat? Would give a measure of who did best when the pressure was on, and who did best when the going was great, and so on.
    [[
    All these are part of the set of two complete HSI articles planned for the near future.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • YuvarajSankaran on December 1, 2013, 20:55 GMT

    Not my intent to come up with a statistic that could measure inspiration, but if someone could do an Inspiration Index some day that will be great too! I was encouraging you to see the flaws in HSI. If anything it shows people who were lonely in their contribution. It cannot be used as a measure of batting success.
    [[
    NOt batting success. But the extent of contribution.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Batting success for all the existing statistics still does not have a good enough index that captures the bowling strength and Surface in question, the two primary challenges presented by the game.

  • Shams on December 1, 2013, 19:54 GMT

    Between 1 Jan 2007 and 1 Mar 2012, Tendulkar's excellent phase late in his career: 96 Inns @ 56.74. But, if you include bowling attacks that featured bowlers who went on to take at least 200 Test wickets in their career during this period (crude bowling quality measure to filter out the weaker opponents): 61 Inns @ 49.74. His average drops significantly, exactly 7 units! Just goes to show how much he dominated the weaker attacks during this time.

    For reference his teammates: Between 1 Jan 2007 and 1 Mar 2012: Sehwag 82 Inns @ 51.48, Laxman 97 Inns @ 50.21, Gambhir 66 Inns @ 48.06, Ganguly 44 Inns @ 47.22, Dravid 106 Inns @ 43.64. Filtered by bowling quality: Sehwag 48 Inns @ 55.57, Gambhir 36 Inns @ 50.22, Ganguly 41 Inns @ 47.59, Laxman 62 Inns @ 47.40, Dravid 64 Inns @ 39.56. Sehwag and Gambhir outperformed Tendulkar facing 'quality' attacks. Dravid, noticeably, was going through a dip in his own form and has poor numbers.

  • Shams on December 1, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    @Dem Religion, regarding the proverbial mile till the end of 2003, SR Waugh 258 Inns 10807 Runs @ 50.97, SR Tendulkar 178 Inns 8964 Runs @ 55.33, BC Lara 176 Inns 8916 Runs @ 52.14. When you exclude Zim/Bd: SR Waugh 253 Inns 10261 Runs @ 48.86, BC Lara 172 Inns 8694 Runs @ 52.05, SR Tendulkar 163 Inns 8028 Runs @ 53.87, RT Ponting 111 Inns 5390 Runs @ 55.56, R Dravid 115 Inns 5544 Runs @ 53.30. Don't see the proverbial mile you speak about, seems like he is neck-and-neck or a little behind some of his contemporaries!

  • Shams on December 1, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    Here is another slice on Tendulkar's stats till the end of the 1990s: in AUS 13 Inns @ 49.75, in ENG 10 inns @ 74.77, in IND 48 inns @ 59.88, in NZ 9 inns @ 49.75, in PAK 6 inns @ 35.83, in SA 12 inns @ 36.91, in SL 8 inns @ 111.66, in WI 6 inns @ 57.80, in ZIM 3 inns @ 13.66. He was mainly making merry in the subcontinent and the weak bowling attacks of ENG (didn't face Caddick/Gough in the 90s) and SL (pre-doosra Murali bowling attack of SL) with respectable performances in AUS (one series with McGrath) and WI (one series with Walsh-Ambrose). For context in batting performances, despite being in the nascent stages of his career Dravid outscored and out-averaged Tendulkar in 1996/97 SA, 1996/97 WI, 1998/99 NZ series. Those peaks shown in the graphs should taken with a grain of salt!

  • on December 1, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    Anantha. Nadal suffered tendinitis of the knees. Tennis elbow , as you know, is tendinitis in the elbow. The severity varies. SRT at one point apparently couldn't lift a tea cup and finally opted for surgery. Nadal hasn't opted for surgery as yet. Perhaps ,like Nadal, it would have been better if he would have simply taken 8 mths straight off.

  • on December 1, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    @Clint Nelson - And talking about oversimplified . I guess you are referring to the rather rudimentary HSI table ,out of any number of parameters that may be manufactured- to make the absurd statement you have? Your vitriolic tone is more "religously fundamentalist" than most other comments in here. That particular narrow table with its inherent assumptions and flaws would place Sehwag,Flower ,Desilva,Sangakkara,Chanderpaul etc as "better" than Viv and SRT. Surely the most acidic SRT naysayer such as you can be less absurd than that.
    [[
    He is not making a decision based on any single rudimentary table. Probably the MoM%, Batting average, Test win %, RpT and so on. I am not going to do any placement of Tendulkar in a Test table. But one thing I can say is that he has to fight with a host of great batsmen for a place in any such table, Unlike ODIs where there was really one other batsmen who could compete with him.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • vjerome on December 1, 2013, 16:59 GMT

    Great article. Biased request but can you do a similar analysis on Dravid. Curiously he doesn't figure on your index of top batsmen
    [[
    Where did I have an index of top batsmen.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 16:29 GMT

    @Clint Nelson. In the 1990s against non-minnows (Ban/Zim) for batsmen who played right through the 1990s.SRT avg 59.4. Next was Steve Waugh at 52.

    If you are truly interested in what happened in the modern era, the mid 2000s period is critical not just in terms of SRTs career - but also what happened relative to numerous other batsmen. Actually, it is not "over simpllified" at all. If is far more nuanced than merely taking an "en-bloc" overall stat without adequate historical and chronological context.

  • VK10 on December 1, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @Ananth:

    1. Lara almost always had decent batting support. After Haynes retired, WI still had Richardson, Hooper, Chander, & Adams till '95 ... remember, Adams averaged 60 at one stage. Over '95-'99, it was Hooper, Chander, & Adams. Things really changed @1999. However, even after '01 he had Gayle, Samuels, Chander, Sarwan. SRT had just about equally bad support --- outside the subcont, only RD & VVS did well ... Azhar & Dada Gangopadhyay were good in Eng but that's about it.

    2. Until '00, opponents rarely prepared bowler-friendly wkts vs WI since Ambrose-Walsh, octogenarian though they were, could still win matches. Lara benefited from that whereas SRT enjoyed no such benefit because Indian attack stunk outside the subcontinent.

    Of course, IMO, Lara is the second greatest test batsman since the Don.

    BTW, a list of SRT gems is incomplete without 169 vs SA, 148* vs Oz, 142 vs SL, 155 vs SA, 203 vs SL, and 214 vs Oz.

  • on December 1, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @Clint Nelson - the facts and stats show that SRT did indeed outpeform his peers till 2003. And then from 2007 onwards against all the leading teams. As shown in the Dravid example. In this same period 2003-07 SRT did indeed suffer serious injuiries ( soft tissue with an unknown recovery period ,unlike say a broken bone. Unfortunately termed "medium level injuries" by Anantha. (I recall Anantha saying he could not TYPE his column on a keyboard because of his own "tennis elbow". Just imagine if a world class batsman had a serious case of it.So- its all there in front of you.
    [[
    They are medium level injuries. The serious injuries are the career-threatening and career-finishing injuries such as Bishop's. When Nadal lost 9 months of his Tennis career that is a serious injury.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    @Clint Nelson- To paraphrase John Mcenroe - You cannot be serious. I too have provide facts and stats. Why go shooting the messenger?

  • Leggie on December 1, 2013, 15:40 GMT

    @Chinmoy Lad: That innings in SA was a masterpiece by Sachin. However, I do remember reading somewhere that Alan Donald was taken-off the attack by Hansie Cronje between lunch and tea for no apparent and it raised a few eyebrows even then. May be that tarnished that innings a bit. Otherwise that was a masterpiece

  • on December 1, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    Dem Religion, The exact purpose of this statistical exercise is to prevent your overly simplified, 'religiously fanatic' conclusion about the overly-flawed 'Cricket God'! The stats results show exactly where he stands among great batsmen in Test Cricket - somewhere in the 18th position, AND CORRECTLY SO!. The statistical method applied here is almost unblemished - the awesome insight of the statistical expert could land him a job with Rocket Scientists! Yet, you Dem Religion is one of those really hard headed fans, who do not want to accept living facts - not even if your none acceptance of the truth would cause you your life! It's SRT's fan club there in India, and some outstanding performances in ODIs that have made him what he is - surely not his test match performances, as the analysis clearly shows! In addition, SRT has the most proficient PR management in the world! They are the ones who made SRT - NOT HIS BAT! Note that outside India, SRT is only seen as another great sportsman!

  • kumar.vikram on December 1, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    @Ananth: awesome analysis. Question - is the data that you used to develop the TSI and the "in the difficult entry" tables? It would be great to split the TSI analysis down by the career split that you have mentioned - the hypothesis I would have is that his TSI would have been higher till 1997 or so. Similarly, I would like to split the "in the difficult entry" analysis by country/home-away as well as by his career split
    [[
    As I have told a few times, this was a first-time analysis for a single player. Period, Result, Team analysis of HSI would follow, for all batsman in the specialized article.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 11:59 GMT

    Ananth, Let me first correct my mistake in an earlier post: In that post I said that they claimed that it was an injury that caused SRT's first slump period. But he went in the said period with the said injury "to Zimbabwe" and murdered the bowlers. But, I meant he went "to Bangladesh" instead. And you know what, in that said series with that so called injury, he avgd over 100 against the Banglashi-school-boy level of bowling! But, everybody would say, regardless to whom he made his runs against, test cricket is test cricket, and for me that is fine! But, don't come with the same breath making SPURIOUS EXCUSES about injury, when he can't perform against world class bowling! Ananth, I only suggested the use of MoM and MoS ratios for comparison of peers in the same specialised department. Eg, batsman vs batsman; spin bowler vs spin bowler; all rounder vs all rounder, etc. I think MoM/MoS ratios are a good index of the real value of an individual's contribution to his team's winning ways!
    [[
    I must say that the MoM % is quite low for SRT. Maybe a question of lack of team success, maybe sharing it with others. His MoM % is 7.2. Way down the list. There are 11 batsmen ahead, with a min of 10 MoM awards. A de Silva-13.9%, Sangakkara-13.4%, Kallis-13.1%, Smith-10.7%, Pietersen-10.9%, Hayden-9.7%, Lara-9.4%, Ponting-8.9%, S Waugh-8.5%, Border-8.3%, Jayawardene-7.6% are the eleven. Only two more follow Tendulkar. Chanderpaul-6.9% and Dravid-6.2%.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on December 1, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    "Thank you. 4/5 medium level injuries seems to be par for a 24 year career. Ananth"... The key is not just the injuries but the scale and timing of the injuries in addition to the performance of numerous other batsmen at precisely the same period. It is pivotal in judging the progression and history of modern batsmen. Till 2003 SRT was the proverbial mile ahead of the pack. In 4 yrs the surge by dozens of other batsmen resulted in SRT becoming just one among the pack.

  • on December 1, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    @Shams. I feel individual innings are given undue importance. There is a tremendous element of luck involved in any individual ,single innings. A look at Lara's 4th innings record other than the 153 when chasing is quite revealing. Surely- any great innings then is not just a matter of pure individual skill. Great individual innings are like "Cherries" on the cake. Lovely if you have them. But saying X is better than Y because he has a few better individual innings - is like focusing solely on the cherries and ignoring the cake altogether.

  • on December 1, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    The previous comment also throws light on an interesting , but perhaps "hidden", matter and aspect of cricket in general. I have again used the period 2003-07 for SRT because of his underperformance not only as compared to himself but dozens of other batsmen. The interesting part is - When SRT dropped off, Dravid PICKED UP the slack ! From 2003-07 Dravid was the Main Man. Then again when SRT got his groove back post 2007 - Dravid dropped off !!

    So - do the great players actually require or benefit from the additional responsibility ? Would Dravid's great knocks have been possible without this ? Without the extra intensity required? Would Lara's 153 have been possible with 4 other batsmen pitching in with solid 50s? Vivs 189 etc etc ? Was it felt that as long as the runs were on the board somehow the extra intensity and effort wasn't required ? If not consciously - then at some subconscious level ?

  • on December 1, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    To elaborate : From Dravid's debut to Jan 2003: SRT: 66 Tests, 6182 @ 60.0 , 22 100s Dravid: 69 Tests, 5614 @ 53.5 , 14 100s

    From 2003-07 SRT - 29 Tests, 1779 @ 44.5 , 4 100s Dravid -37 Tests , 3484 @ 65.7 ,9 100s

    From 2007 - Dravid retirement SRT - 54 Tests, 4880@ 56.7, 15 100s Dravid - 58 Tests, 4190 @ 43.6 ,13 100s

    Essentially SRT outperformed Dravid for 12yrs out of his 16 yr career. But Dravids mid period was very prolific and terrific for India as well. And ofcourse we always remember the Great innings -Kolkata , Adelaide, England etc. But there is more to this than initially meets the eye.

  • on December 1, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    @ Sourabh 'Calvin' - I can understand the sentiment. However, the issue often is the unreal expectations of Tendulkar. He is not perfect. And there are numerous other examples where he has done better than Dravid than the couple you have picked. To Tendulkar fans it boils down to something like this ( though I'm sure you will take exception) : Dravid,Lara,Ponting,Kallis superb, attacking,Great etc...but Tendulkar - better. It's that simple . The man has simply no weakness- any conditions, any bowers , any format. Sure- he does not top the table in every "vertical"- but overall he's the best.

  • Bonehead_maz on December 1, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    @ Ariz Khan.... although not about Tendulkar, we also isolated Lara @ Adelaide from memory .... similar deal. We had an outstanding attack and mind set in those days.

  • on December 1, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Also the entire argument about "Lara would have given anything to have a bevy of suh quality batsmen with him" is not quite clear. As Lara himself said recently SRT may have prefered to be in the WI line up he was part of. Lara had his best 4 yr period from 2003-07 with WI at rock bottom. SRT had his best yrs in the 1990s before Dravid,Lax,VVS etc came into their own.

    If we use this line of argument - then the converse should also hold true. i.e say a Viv would then have fared much more poorly had he been in Lara's WI team? Highly doubtful. It may have actually benefited Viv by causing him to dig deep instead of strolling in , chewing gum and swinging it around.

    Using such reasoning - one may then claim that " Viv avg. 50 because he was in a strong team. Had he played in Lara's team he would have avg. 35!"

    Lots of grey area here.

  • on December 1, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    The stats from 2003-07 (MINUS Ban/ZIm) Tests - 44 inn. ; 1495 runs ; avg 38 ; 3 100s ODIs ( after the 2003 WC ) - 54 inn. , 2105 ; avg 42 ; 6 100s

    These have to be compared to his peak periods , Since SRT was the last batsman given to mood swings. And the injuries were a fact - not fiction. Also critical was not just the injuries but the timing of matches relative to the injuries. For eg SRT was ruled out for the first 2 Australia home tests. After India got hammered he was almost forced to return "half- cooked". Given his lack of mood swings and the fact that MiNUS Ban/Zim 50 batsmen avg. more in Tests between 2003-07 - It is pretty obvious that a combination of injury and timing of Tests relative to them was the cause of his underperformance. Even his few Test 100s were essentially "will-power" 100s. The 241 has been referred to as the only double scored by a batsman completely out of form.

  • on December 1, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Copy/paste from another site: In 2003 Sachin Tendulkar missed the four ODIs against New Zealand due to an ankle injury. Tendulkar fought with a finger injury, to score record 673 runs in the 2003 World Cup and was also named the Player of the tournament. In 2004 and 2005 Sachin suffered from the famous Tennis Elbow. For which he went for surgery leaving him out of the side for the first two Tests against Australia who toured India in 2004. It also forced the Tendulkar to sit out during Videocon Cup limited-overs series in Holland, the ODI series against England, the ICC Champions Trophy and the first two Test matches against Australia at home. In 2006 Tendulkar underwent shoulder surgery in March after the home series against England, which kept him out from the subsequent tour of the West Indies. In 2007 Sachin Tendulkar sustained knee injury during fielding in the second Test at Kolkat
    [[
    Thank you. 4/5 medium level injuries seems to be par for a 24 year career.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • piyush144 on December 1, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    When Tendulkar had retired from ODI's in an article Harsha Bhogle had somewhat questioned why he had chosen to quit ODI's when he could have quit Tests (Of course I dont recall the old quote) For me Tendulkar never quite achieved his true potential in Tests. This is much more exaggerated in case of Dhoni and Yuvraj. Still a very balanced career. Never the best, but among/near the top 10 in whatever metric you chose even for Tests.
    [[
    Yes, top-10 is probably correct.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • JazzKull on December 1, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    I'm sorry but I can't help but disagree with you. The 241 at Sydney was one of the worst innings played by an Indian batsman. It was too slow, detrimental to the team cause, and robbed India of achieving their first ever series win .... he should have clearly accelerated after completing 100 or at least 150 .... The captain too is partly to blame .. he should have declared like Dravid did later at Multan. Today Dravid's name would have been etched forever in history for being the man who led team India to a series win in Australia.But alas ! Tendulkar's selfish innings, and putting his cause above the team's robbed us. Since then, we have lost 2-1 and 4-0 in Australi. I think enough said ...
    [[
    Why did not Ganguly declare at 570 for 5 or thereabouts, when Tenbdulkar was around 170 and go for a win. And Tendulkar's slower innings was compensated by Patel. The innings was selected because Tendulkar was coming off a very poor patch (253 runs in 13 innings) and he applied himself and played himself back to form. If Tendulkar had been out for 20 runs, the recent form number, India would have probably lost by an innings.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Shams on December 1, 2013, 7:23 GMT

    It would be great if the stats for the different periods could be normalized by the bowling quality on offer in the matches (e.g. recent form of bowlers involved). I think that would show that the second peak was his most impressive. Some of the other aggregates are skewed by performances against weaker opponents (i.e. green bowling attacks or Zim/Bd/pre-99-SL when Murali hadn't yet developed his doosra and was not as effective).
    [[
    As I have already replied to someone else, such complex analysis cannot be undertaken in single-player tribute articles. I have also done this in depth before.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Shams on December 1, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    When talking of Tendulkar's 136 and Lara's 153* and Healy's (not Gilchrist's) drop nearing the end of the game... one shouldn't forget Moin Khan missed a stumping of Tendulkar when he was in the 90s! The big difference in the two innings was Lara carried WI home batting with the tail (Ambrose and Walsh) while attacking the bowlers. Tendulkar got out trying to do the same.

    It was particularly noticeable later in Tendulkar's career he wouldn't be as attacking when batting with the tail, he would play steadily for his not out, e.g. the inns with his highest score against Bangladesh when Zaheer got a lot of the strike and fortunately also made merry.

  • Charith99 on December 1, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    I"m a big fan of your work but a little disappointed with this article. in the previous article you compared sachin's odi career with a lot of other great odi batsmen and you rightfully concluded that sachin is the all time second best after viv. However it seemes that you have shied away from comparing sachin's test career with other greats specially his peers. I ageree with you that sachin is the all time second best odi batsman and that the others are very far behind him but in test batting I think he has stiff competition.sadly the article does not offer any insights to that.

  • on December 1, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    In 1985, MD Crowe did score a delightful 185 at Georgetown, but failed miserably in 6 innings where Windies won (Haven't we seen a familiar story couple of years back?). If had scored those ~220 across 4 tests, I would have been happier. Similar was the case with Sachin in the first depression period, would still score against poor attack/pitch to keep his avgs afloat. But his next coming was totally unbelievable (A Gooch like). I don't count his failures in last 3 years much. Thanks Sachin.

  • on December 1, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    How good is Rahul Dravid, in comparision to SRT. Is Dravid the second best batsman produced by India after SRT. Anant will you put sunny ahead of Rahul. Undoubtedly these 3 are the best ever produced by India. Your opinion please.

  • on December 1, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    I'm always hearing that Tendulkar had an injury in some period! But during that injury period that they're talking about, Tendulkar went to Zimbabwe, outside of their cricket season, in the month of May and murdered the school boy level bowling he knew that they had - similar to the way that they invited WI with no bowling attack to end his career! Hence, this injury excuse does not hold any water for me! How can he beat the Bangladeshi bowling so convincingly with the said injury and can't make a dozen against the other bowlers?
    [[
    Let me ask someone to exactly define the injury period. Wikipedia's only refence to this is during 2004-05. Before and after that it seems to be mostly loss of form. I wait to be corrected.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Bonehead_maz on December 1, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    @ Ananth .... "Trust the Aussie to have a keen eye"..... Merv Hughes, a way better both bowler and judge than I, reportedly said during the 148 ? in Sydney ...."AB, this little ........ is going to score more runs than you". Excellent understanding of what's in front of you Merv ;)!
    [[
    One doesn't associate Merv with such an insight. It was indeed nice to see him with his group of Cricket tourists diutring the Ashes series.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • suubsy on December 1, 2013, 1:35 GMT

    Excellent piece, it is tempting to dissect this article and point some obvious defects. But NO. As much as Sachin's career and statistics can invite statisticians to segment in every possible manner, this one has been done in very effectively and kept simple for readers to get through. Without taking away any credit to this wonderful piece, I am trying to see if there was a way to include his duels with few other great bowlers like Mcgrath, Warne, Ambrose, Walsh, Akram et all though in pure statistics of number of balls bowled, they taking his wickets and he scoring runs guess would not fall under any meaningful statistical category but can just be a delight for hard core fans.
    [[
    The head-to-head data is not available for just under 50% of the Tests he played. It is available onl;y from Test 1546 onwards.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    Ananth, You're MORE THAN A GENIUS! harshthakor, you've wrong on the very essence of the statistical exercise; making statements that contradict the data per the graphics presented. The graphics show that SRT had two very poor periods: one in 2004 to 2007 when as Ananth puts it, "The... blow almost raised fears of a career close". It really should have been "a career close"; as would have been the case for every other player in India, and even Don Bradman of Australia! This too, is my main beef with Tendulkar: Why wasn't he dropped when he was out of form for so long and there were players competent enough to take his place? You notice that he picked up back between 2008 and 2010. Why? In 2007, Warne and Mc Grath, the very last full-unit of real world class bowling attacks retired - no team in the world had a world class bowling attack between 2008 and 2010 - the youngsters were all just learning their trade; and he took advantage of them - people like Johnson and Morkel! Fair analysis!
    [[
    It is difficult for an Indian like me to understand. By your name I am persuming your origins as away from India. Cannot be too sure, though. How would you?
    However one thing I must say. The amazing recovery during the fifth stage, partly into the sixth stage, shows that the skill, temparament and technique were all there. I agree that any other batsman might have got dropped. Maybe that is the difference bewteen SRT and Sehwag. Today virtually no one thinks Sehwag will come back. His hand-eye coordination, without which he is nothing, is not there. So he has been dropped almost certainly for ever. Tendulkar's skills were far better honed not to give him many more Tests. And he delivered.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Nik2shah on November 30, 2013, 22:19 GMT

    Interesting article. However despite its length the only conclusions you offer are your expectations regardings SRT's future? I thought your comparisons to other players in the ODI analysis was interesting. Where does he sit when compared against others or it this beyond the scooe of your analysis? Please dont tell me this is personal opinion. I read your article for a conclusion. Also why no Glenn Mcgrath or Shane Warne in bowler analysis? Not enough deliveries? Both epic battles from memory. Thanks
    [[
    It has been mentioned about 136 or 55 times in the past six months that the head-to-head data is available from Test no 1546 (2001) onwards.
    As far as comparisons why should I do that whwn people pounce on that single point at the exclusion of everything else which has been done. I can already see that there are far more productive comments on the Test article than the ODI one.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Aayush13 on November 30, 2013, 22:04 GMT

    Can we look at runs scored by a batsman or his average against bowlers/team with the best bowling average? A dynamic analysis where the bowling average of the bowler/team would change after every match? Wouldn't this help in knowing a batsmans calibre against the best oppositions?
    [[
    All these analyses you have suggested have been done during the past two years. Also this is an article on one player. It has to be a combination of one or two new ideas and a tribute to the player. It should not be perceived to be an all-inclusive batting analysis.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • YuvarajSankaran on November 30, 2013, 19:50 GMT

    Thanks for the quick response. Even though I disagree that inspiration is overrated we can set that aside for the moment. It shouldn't be SRT's fault that he played with other greats like Dravid, Sourav and Laxman. Why should any index penalize him or any batsman for their mates success ? Even if we assume SRT played with players as great the HSI failed to show them. Only Sehwag made the list. Sehwag will be the first to admit that he is not in the same league as the Don. The other key players who are pillars of their respective countries batting who did not show are Ponting and Kallis. All that indicates flaws in using this as a measure of batting success.The fundamental premise of the analysis needs to be revised if it needs to be a good indicator of a batsman's success.It needs to focus on the strength of the bowling/opposition and how tough the conditions are for batting.

  • on November 30, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    I know that you have a lot of time in your hands....but kindly stop writing these unnecessary articles.....tendulkar was just a player, he has played well and has now retired....do not deitify him and stop making a career out of him.
    [[
    SRT contributes probably 3% in shaping my career. Anyhow, at last count, the analysts have computed that a total of 3,356,641 people make their living off SRT. Let me be the 3,356,642nd person.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 17:23 GMT

    I just want to make a contribution to the 'best innings'. I know India ended up losing the game horrendously, but this innings vs South Africa in 1997 in Cape Town vs a fearsome pace attack was a superb innings, along with Mohammed Azharuddhin who also played extremely well that day: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/current/match/63737.html South Africa 529/7 dec India 359 all out South Africa 256/6 dec India 144 all out South Africa win by 282 runs. The India first innings, Sachin scored 169 and Azhar scored 115. No one else crossed 30 that day - hell, our next best scorers were Ganguly (23) and Extras (20). Not one of the other 8 batsmen crossed 15.
    [[
    Yes, I looked at it very seriously. My limit of 10 Test innings made my selection very difficult. Some innings select themselves: 155, 231, 105, 136, 146. So there is not much of leeway.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    Also, to SRTs misfortune other modern day greats played many more matches when at their peak. From 2002-06 Ponting, Hayden,Lara ,Dravid,Kallis etc played between 37 to 46 matches. In this period SRT avg 39 against standard teams ( less Bang/Zim) as compared to 59 in the 1990s. India's obsession with ODIs and the relative outperformance of other batsmen from 2003-07 skews almost every table in an overall analysis.

    So-matchwise this period will skew stats. However, year wise SRTs contribution will be significantly higher. In the 1990s SRT played just 69 matches. Sometime in the early 2000s Tests came back into fashion again .

  • on November 30, 2013, 16:09 GMT

    Forgotten ODI gems - Too many to count . But a few come readily to mind: 89 Toronto ; 65 Port of Spain; 62 Vishakapatnam ; 99 Belfast ; 97 Gwalior

  • on November 30, 2013, 15:56 GMT

    Some other SRT innings forever stuck in the memory: Tests- 57 Sialkot ; 148 Sydney ; 111,169,155 in South Africa , 179 Nagpur, 177 Nottingham, 92,83 West Indies ; Several 100s vs Murali in the 1990s ( Murali only did better against SRT during SRTs mid 2000s injury period); 97 Mumbai ; Twin 50s and Series winning 126 vs Aus in 2001 ; 103 Ahmedabad ; 92 Nottingham ( unbelievable stroke play) ; 154 Sydney ( "comeback" 100 after a long while against a standard team) ; 103 Chennai ; 160 Hamilton ; 84 Galle ; 111,146 South Africa - The real beauty of Tendulkar is that almost every innings had a different rhythm and "tone" - often depending on the match situation. The "chameleon" of batting.
    [[
    That last comment of yours is a lovely one. I agree with you. Take away the struggling 18 monts at the end this was true right through the 20 odd years.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    ananth... i commented on your article about 4 years back "viv better odi batsman sachin', where i mentioned i had a formulated a calculation which will assist any person rank players on statistical basis. it is quite similar to your method (parameter and weightage) but with a tweak. i would love to share the same with you, in case you are interested. do reply on ********.com. and more often than not, i agree with your number theories :)
    [[
    Will mail you directly. For your protection I have taken your mailid off.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 15:45 GMT

    Dear Anatha ... Having a look at the Top Score table, I dont think its fair to say that Top order batsmen (1-3) have a better chance to be top scorers in Test matches. In my opinion, the toughest batting slot in Tests is the openers place. I would argue that it is most difficult for openers to be top scorers since they face the new ball, fresh bowlers and tougher pitches. In fact, in ODIs it is easier for Top order batsmen to be top scorers since they have more overs to bat - this is evident from the fact that most 100s are made by top 3 batsmen than lower order batsmen. That is also the reason why so many makeshift openers have done well in ODIs compared to test matches.
    [[
    Since I have shown the two sets of 1-3 and 4-6 batsmen separately, it is your prerogative to combine these two. In fact there is only a single table in the downloadable file.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • on November 30, 2013, 13:18 GMT

    Interesting series of articles but still not unbiased. You seem to have assertion bias either against Tendulkar or for statistics. I will explain why Tendulkar is the best in a very few and effective words. He treated batting like an investment. If you invest in financial assets, you just don't want to maximize returns but often your objective is to minimize risk. This is known as optimization of sharpe ratio.Sachin treated batting exactly like investment and with all due respect Lara and Richards don't come close to it. Secondly, Lara had much better bowlers if Sachin had effective batsmen partners like Dravid and Laxman so that evens out the balance. Lara's great innings of 151 in series victory against Aussies, he was dropped easily by Gilchrist but people remember that as one of his best innings! He was under pressure in a pressure situation. He has many better innings probably but people regard that as one of the best innings. You listed a few great innings of Sachin - thanks!

  • Jollybuoy on November 30, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    I also find it annoying when people say Sachin didn't win matches as Lara did. Lara has 3 match winning 100s after Ambrose/Walsh retired, 2 of which came against Zim and Ban. The only other match winning 100 was against Pak. He has 8 100s( 1 Double, 1 191) in 32 wins. Sachin has 20 100s in 72 wins. Average 67 vs 62, a consequence of stronger lineup, 6 wins in a row at the end with minimal contribution. Everybody singularly remembers that 153* where Healy drops Lara of McGrath, and 136 where India loses. People just need to verify facts once in a while. Surely, you ought to appreciate how much luck is involved in such cases. All this is to point out that bowling lineups play far more important role in winning tests. Don't even bring Steve Waugh in. He has lesser 100s in 3rd and 4th innings combined than Sachin's 4th innings alone. Also averages less than Sachin or Lara in both 3rd or 4th innings than either do in 4th innings alone. Just verify facts for heavensake.

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 30, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Nice. In XL file, i think avg and balls per wicket have got interchanged. so Mitchell Johnson is at 167avg and 83 bpw.
    [[
    Will correct.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Interesting that Richards and Gavaskar dropped so much. I think this is true for Tendulkar also. In the latter half of their careers, all three batsmen played in much stronger batting line ups than in 1H. For Richards and Gavaskar, in the 2H, their absolute averages was in the mid-40s. For Tendulkar, it continued almost at the same level as 1H. Would be interesting to know what that mid career split for other batsmen is.
    [[
    I had done couple of articles on two and three way splits for ODI and Test players earlier this year.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • msmanoj on November 30, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Yesterday I heard that Sachin became the brand ambassador for UNICEF. I think this is the best job he can get. He should continue to work with UNICEF along with being a Mentor for Indian Cricket's batting (domestic and international).

  • harshthakor on November 30, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    To me morally versus pure pace Viv Richards was the king as an attacking batsman while Sunil Gavaskar was his equivalent as a defensive batsmen.Sachin had advantage in an era where head gear existed and bouncers were restricted.However I will always remember the manner Tendulkar tackled Alan Donald in South Africa in 1997 and 2001 executing strokes with the perfection of a medical surgeon and the finesse of an architect.Sachin also could master Wasim Akram's left-arm wizardy and Mcgrath's super-consistent medium pace bowling with remarkable prowess.Sachin could also master bad wickets as he showed in Madras in 1998 v Australia and 1999 against Pakistan.Brian Lara was the more attacking against the best paceman but Sachin was surely more compact.

    On a bad wicket in his era I would back Tendulkar over Lara and Ponting while Gary Sobers may just edge Sachin.Tendulkar's 114 at Perth in 1992-93 is the closest batting ever to Bradman -like a surgeon and architect rolled into one.

  • Jollybuoy on November 30, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Outside of subcontinent, the only time he averaged less than 30 in a test series was in NZ in 2002-03 and 1990, both of which are 2 test match series . I am not too sure about the conclusions that can be drawn from that. My personal favourites for a very long time was 169 as it was the first time I watched India was out side subcontinent. It came when India was 58/5, he was captain, out of form and with India looking at mammoth total(529) and after being bowled out for 100 and 66 in previous test. A chance less knock as Azhar played a very lucky one at the other end. The domination was absolute and it took an extraordinary catch to get him out. Other favorite is 126 in Chennai in series decider. Arguably, performances when the series is at stake are pretty important. All the 100s like 169 and 146 in cape town, 116 in Melbourne, 241 * and 60*, ( 2nd match in 3 match series with 1-0 down) , 117 in NZ,122 in Brimingham, 92 in Barbados(sole match with a result and lost in series) are spl

  • harshthakor on November 30, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    The most important debate is whether a batsman should be asssed in performances in his peak period or his career overall.Statistically ,in his peak Ricky Ponting was 2nd only to Bradman,averaging over 71 runs and scoring over 6000 runs.Of recent stars Lara was the best at his peak with his ability in compiling mammoth scores and never curbing his strike rate.

    Tendulkar is very much in the Jack Hobbs mould and if a complete career is assessed may stand at the top next to Bradman.However as match-winner he did not display the match-winning killer instinct of Viv Richards or Brian Lara at their best and curbed his bating strike rate significantly in the 2nd half of his career.Infact India's major victories abroad arose more out of contributions by Dravid,Laxman or Sehwag in Pakistan,South Africa and Australia.

    What was remarkable in Sachin was that he posessed every component from consistency,technical ability ,innovative flair and above all temperament like nobody else.

  • harshthakor on November 30, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    A great effort,Ananth.

    One of the most important aspects about an assesment is the contradiction between a great batsman's peak period and the consistency of his entire test career.Where Sachin stood above everyone was his remarkable consistency where for a period of 22 years he stood atleast in the top 3 and for 2/3 the era at the very top.No sportsman let alone cricketer has acheived this.However at their very peak period's I rate Brian Lara ahead,not only in terms of statistics but if you consider the impact he made playing for such a weak team.Lara at his peak was better match-winner and in championing a crisis.

    Sachin ,neverthless is the most complete test batsman of all.posessing every ingredient for a perfect batsman and would have been a matchwinner in the Viv Richards mould had he received greater support from team members in his best period .However at their best I still give the edge to Viv Richards,Lara and Sobers in terms of turning the course of a game.

  • on November 30, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Nice article, really gives a micro view of SRT's test career which, sometimes, gets obfuscated by the staggering dimension of his numbers. It is surprising to note that having successfully faced the great fast bowlers of the past two decades,he was particularly vulnerable to Anderson who, with due respect, is not in the same league.About some of his great innings, I guess the one at Cape Town in 1997 and in Bloemfontein in 2000 would be among the best. Also, the 103 against England at Chennai in 2008 in a winning cause would also chip in as he is very often criticized for not contributing enough to test wins. Finally, now that he has hung up his boots, can we benchmark him among the all time greats of Test batting, much like Anantha's earlier article about him being second to Viv Richards in one-dayers. Looking forward to some analysis in this regard.

  • Jollybuoy on November 30, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    I did a check of career summary and his worst test series with a minimum of 3 tests are the following test series- 1. SL in 2008 where he scored 95 runs in 3 tests at an average of 15.83. 2. England in India 2012/13 where he averaged 18.66 in 4 tests scoring 112 runs. 3. Again the next worst is against Eng in India in 2005-06 where he scored 83 runs in 3 tests at an average of 20.75. 4. The next worst is India in Pak in 2005-06 where he averaged 21 in 3 tests scoring 63 runs (3 innings). Outside 5. Next worst is SA in India in 96/97 when he averaged 27.66 scoring 166 runs in 3 tests. Even if we take a minimum of 4 innings in a series, the list includes Border Gavaskar Trophy (2004-05) in India 70 runs in 4 innings, NZ in India 2004-05 71 runs in 4 innings averaging 17.75, Ind in NZ in 2002 (75 runs n 4 innings). In all these series, his worst series have all come invariably come in subcontinent. I find it very intriguing that he has had so many failures, all in subcontinent.

  • pun_eat on November 30, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    some of my favourites include... 169 at Capetown and 155 at bloemfontein....certain similarity in both of them...97 at wankhede in 2000..and 193 at Leeds which i see as a milestone test for indian cricket ..thank you

  • pun_eat on November 30, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    some of my favourites include... 169 at Capetown and 155 at bloemfontein....certain similarity in both of them...97 at wankhede in 2000..and 193 at Leeds which i see as a milestone test for indian cricket ..thank you

  • Jollybuoy on November 30, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    I did a check of career summary and his worst test series with a minimum of 3 tests are the following test series- 1. SL in 2008 where he scored 95 runs in 3 tests at an average of 15.83. 2. England in India 2012/13 where he averaged 18.66 in 4 tests scoring 112 runs. 3. Again the next worst is against Eng in India in 2005-06 where he scored 83 runs in 3 tests at an average of 20.75. 4. The next worst is India in Pak in 2005-06 where he averaged 21 in 3 tests scoring 63 runs (3 innings). Outside 5. Next worst is SA in India in 96/97 when he averaged 27.66 scoring 166 runs in 3 tests. Even if we take a minimum of 4 innings in a series, the list includes Border Gavaskar Trophy (2004-05) in India 70 runs in 4 innings, NZ in India 2004-05 71 runs in 4 innings averaging 17.75, Ind in NZ in 2002 (75 runs n 4 innings). In all these series, his worst series have all come invariably come in subcontinent. I find it very intriguing that he has had so many failures, all in subcontinent.

  • on November 30, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    Nice article, really gives a micro view of SRT's test career which, sometimes, gets obfuscated by the staggering dimension of his numbers. It is surprising to note that having successfully faced the great fast bowlers of the past two decades,he was particularly vulnerable to Anderson who, with due respect, is not in the same league.About some of his great innings, I guess the one at Cape Town in 1997 and in Bloemfontein in 2000 would be among the best. Also, the 103 against England at Chennai in 2008 in a winning cause would also chip in as he is very often criticized for not contributing enough to test wins. Finally, now that he has hung up his boots, can we benchmark him among the all time greats of Test batting, much like Anantha's earlier article about him being second to Viv Richards in one-dayers. Looking forward to some analysis in this regard.

  • harshthakor on November 30, 2013, 8:17 GMT

    A great effort,Ananth.

    One of the most important aspects about an assesment is the contradiction between a great batsman's peak period and the consistency of his entire test career.Where Sachin stood above everyone was his remarkable consistency where for a period of 22 years he stood atleast in the top 3 and for 2/3 the era at the very top.No sportsman let alone cricketer has acheived this.However at their very peak period's I rate Brian Lara ahead,not only in terms of statistics but if you consider the impact he made playing for such a weak team.Lara at his peak was better match-winner and in championing a crisis.

    Sachin ,neverthless is the most complete test batsman of all.posessing every ingredient for a perfect batsman and would have been a matchwinner in the Viv Richards mould had he received greater support from team members in his best period .However at their best I still give the edge to Viv Richards,Lara and Sobers in terms of turning the course of a game.

  • harshthakor on November 30, 2013, 8:25 GMT

    The most important debate is whether a batsman should be asssed in performances in his peak period or his career overall.Statistically ,in his peak Ricky Ponting was 2nd only to Bradman,averaging over 71 runs and scoring over 6000 runs.Of recent stars Lara was the best at his peak with his ability in compiling mammoth scores and never curbing his strike rate.

    Tendulkar is very much in the Jack Hobbs mould and if a complete career is assessed may stand at the top next to Bradman.However as match-winner he did not display the match-winning killer instinct of Viv Richards or Brian Lara at their best and curbed his bating strike rate significantly in the 2nd half of his career.Infact India's major victories abroad arose more out of contributions by Dravid,Laxman or Sehwag in Pakistan,South Africa and Australia.

    What was remarkable in Sachin was that he posessed every component from consistency,technical ability ,innovative flair and above all temperament like nobody else.

  • Jollybuoy on November 30, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Outside of subcontinent, the only time he averaged less than 30 in a test series was in NZ in 2002-03 and 1990, both of which are 2 test match series . I am not too sure about the conclusions that can be drawn from that. My personal favourites for a very long time was 169 as it was the first time I watched India was out side subcontinent. It came when India was 58/5, he was captain, out of form and with India looking at mammoth total(529) and after being bowled out for 100 and 66 in previous test. A chance less knock as Azhar played a very lucky one at the other end. The domination was absolute and it took an extraordinary catch to get him out. Other favorite is 126 in Chennai in series decider. Arguably, performances when the series is at stake are pretty important. All the 100s like 169 and 146 in cape town, 116 in Melbourne, 241 * and 60*, ( 2nd match in 3 match series with 1-0 down) , 117 in NZ,122 in Brimingham, 92 in Barbados(sole match with a result and lost in series) are spl

  • harshthakor on November 30, 2013, 8:39 GMT

    To me morally versus pure pace Viv Richards was the king as an attacking batsman while Sunil Gavaskar was his equivalent as a defensive batsmen.Sachin had advantage in an era where head gear existed and bouncers were restricted.However I will always remember the manner Tendulkar tackled Alan Donald in South Africa in 1997 and 2001 executing strokes with the perfection of a medical surgeon and the finesse of an architect.Sachin also could master Wasim Akram's left-arm wizardy and Mcgrath's super-consistent medium pace bowling with remarkable prowess.Sachin could also master bad wickets as he showed in Madras in 1998 v Australia and 1999 against Pakistan.Brian Lara was the more attacking against the best paceman but Sachin was surely more compact.

    On a bad wicket in his era I would back Tendulkar over Lara and Ponting while Gary Sobers may just edge Sachin.Tendulkar's 114 at Perth in 1992-93 is the closest batting ever to Bradman -like a surgeon and architect rolled into one.

  • msmanoj on November 30, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Yesterday I heard that Sachin became the brand ambassador for UNICEF. I think this is the best job he can get. He should continue to work with UNICEF along with being a Mentor for Indian Cricket's batting (domestic and international).

  • Cool_Jeeves on November 30, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    Nice. In XL file, i think avg and balls per wicket have got interchanged. so Mitchell Johnson is at 167avg and 83 bpw.
    [[
    Will correct.
    Ananth
    : ]]

    Interesting that Richards and Gavaskar dropped so much. I think this is true for Tendulkar also. In the latter half of their careers, all three batsmen played in much stronger batting line ups than in 1H. For Richards and Gavaskar, in the 2H, their absolute averages was in the mid-40s. For Tendulkar, it continued almost at the same level as 1H. Would be interesting to know what that mid career split for other batsmen is.
    [[
    I had done couple of articles on two and three way splits for ODI and Test players earlier this year.
    Ananth
    : ]]

  • Jollybuoy on November 30, 2013, 9:21 GMT

    I also find it annoying when people say Sachin didn't win matches as Lara did. Lara has 3 match winning 100s after Ambrose/Walsh retired, 2 of which came against Zim and Ban. The only other match winning 100 was against Pak. He has 8 100s( 1 Double, 1 191) in 32 wins. Sachin has 20 100s in 72 wins. Average 67 vs 62, a consequence of stronger lineup, 6 wins in a row at the end with minimal contribution. Everybody singularly remembers that 153* where Healy drops Lara of McGrath, and 136 where India loses. People just need to verify facts once in a while. Surely, you ought to appreciate how much luck is involved in such cases. All this is to point out that bowling lineups play far more important role in winning tests. Don't even bring Steve Waugh in. He has lesser 100s in 3rd and 4th innings combined than Sachin's 4th innings alone. Also averages less than Sachin or Lara in both 3rd or 4th innings than either do in 4th innings alone. Just verify facts for heavensake.