March 15, 2014

# Test top-score analysis: Bradman and Lara dominate

An analysis that identifies the most dominant innings by batsmen in Tests, in the context of contributions by other batsmen to the team score
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The tweaks suggested can be summarised as below.

- Extend the concept to all batsmen scores, not just the top two scores.
- Incorporate the team score into the computations.
- Avoid the very high range of numbers in the early version: the HSI for an innings went as high as 11.4.
- Look at how the players have performed in various classifications, with HSI as the key measure.
- Look at the possibility of using a GM (Geometric Mean) rather than AM (Arithmetic Mean) because of the significant variations.

A 100 as the top score does not provide enough information by itself. It could be out of a team score of 200 or 500. It could be supported by an innings close to 100, by a 50 or by a 10. It could be part of 300 for 1 or 400 for 5 or 200 all out.

The HSI is a measure of two components for the innings top score. The batsman stands alone at the top and his contribution gets enhanced depending on the support received. On the other hand the second-placed scorer has had the support of a higher-scoring batsman. So it is sufficient to take his and other lower-scoring batsmen's contributions based on the team score. With this background let me show you how it works.

Top batsman HSI = {Hs1/Team score} x {Hs1/Hs2}. This incorporates both components.
Other batsmen HSI = {Batsman score/Team score}.

I worked out that there is no need to multiply the lower scores by {Score/Hs1}. That would lower the values too much. An Hs1 of 100 and Hs2 of 90 (out of 200) would end up with the HSI value for Hs1 well over 25% higher than the HSI value for Hs2, which is incorrect.

Let me try to describe the HSI in a visual manner. If we represent the numbers on a linear scale, the team score is at the top. The batsman score is in the middle and the next highest score is below this. The HSI value increases as the distance between the batsman score and the team score decreases. Alternatively, the HSI value increases as the distance between the batsman score and the next highest score increases. Thus the HSI is dependent on how far away these two values are from the batsman score.

There was a suggestion that an average of the next two (or more) high scores be used to determine the HSI. There is some merit in this suggestion. However, whichever way I work this, I cannot see how a sequence of 100, 90, 80... would be significantly different from 100, 90, 25... For that matter we do not even know whether the 90 batsman has been in partnership with the top scorer or not. That would only complicate things. Now it is possible for readers to work out the HSI of an innings by just perusing the scorecards. I do not want to lose this simple application of the concept.

However one major problem, specifically related to Tests, has to be addressed and solved. It is best explained with an example. Let us say that Australia need 50 to win and they reach 50 for 1 with David Warner scoring 40, Chris Rogers scoring 5 and 5 are scored through extras. Warner's innings will get a HSI of 7.28 (8.0*0.88). Totally outrageous, incorrect and unrealistic. This is higher than the current highest HSI value. But there are also situations such as Len Hutton scoring 30 out of 52 all out or Virat Kohli scoring 105 out of 166 for 3 or Stan McCabe scoring 189 out of 274 for 3 and so on. These have to be taken care of. In the same example I have taken, what if Australia collapsed but still won the match by three wickets scoring 50 for 7 and Michael Clarke scoring 25, with the next-highest score being 5. He would have a correct HSI of 2.75 (5.0*0.55). All these situations have to be taken care of.

I analysed this problem in many ways and tried various options. I even did a customised exclusion of matches based on scores and wickets lost. But that meant that all innings played would not be included. Only when I did an analysis of all 2279 innings in which fewer than ten wickets were lost did I realise that loss of five wickets was the separation point. Loss of five wickets meant that the top order had their say and all support innings would be from the lower order. So I decided that all innings of five wickets or below would have their HSI values reduced by a factor. But what about 274 for 3 or 450 for 2 and so on? So I set a limit of 200 runs to apply this adjustment. It has worked very well.

In the previous examples, Warner's HSI would be multiplied by 0.167(1/6) and Kohli's by 0.5(3/6). Hutton, McCabe and Clarke would retain their values. This is exactly as it should be. It would be tempting for any reader, with a five-minute superficial study of this situation, to punch holes in this algorithm. Before doing that, please do not forget that I have spent well over ten hours solely to take care of this problem. I have analysed each wicket-fall group (0/1/2/3/4/5) of innings separately.

Now that the HSI for every innings has been determined, let us move to the many tables I have created. The first is the basic table of the HSI value itself. I have shown the top 30 HSI values. There is a downloadable Excel file which contains the innings which have HSI values greater than or equal to 0.1. Please download and peruse it before asking about specific innings or player.

Readers should remember that these calculations are scorecard-based, non-contextual and within a team. Hutton's 30, out of 52, will get a much higher HSI (2.795) than Ahmed Shehzad's 147 (HSI-1.039), which, in turn will get a much higher HSI value than Mahela Jayawardene's 374 (HSI-0.679). It does not mean that Hutton's innings was better or match-winning, like the other two. It only means that Hutton contributed more to his team in this specific innings than Shehzad or Jayawardene. The result is immaterial. The key word is "contribution". Please make sure that this point is clearly understood.

A note on the cut-off. I have selected 3000 Test runs as the cut-off for the main table and 168 batsmen qualify. Only three of these batsmen, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble and Shane Warne, have an average below 20 and these three have been kept in. Once the cut-off is set, all players are considered equal. Afterwards, I am not going to say one batsman played in only so many matches and another played in many more matches and so on. The players have met the criterion set and that is it.

For the other 12 tables, there are varying cut-off points. In general 50 innings has been used as the minimum for qualification. However, readers should note that to qualify for the later tables only the appropriate cut-off is needed. A batsman who has scored fewer than 3000 Test runs could very well have played 50 innings at home or 30 third innings and so on.

After getting the HSI values I evaluated on the need to do an alternate mean-evaluation. I decided that it is not necessary to use GM and used AM itself since the distribution pattern revealed a few important facts. The top entry is at 6.4 and the next four entries are 4.7. See how steeply the values drop. Also only 13 innings have HSI values greater than 4.0. So there is really only a single outlier: Charles Bannerman's innings. I did not want to be influenced by this single performance.

A few important facts on HSI.

1. There is one HSI value exceeding 6.0, 12 exceeding 4.0, 37 exceeding 3.0, 180 exceeding 2.0 and 1044 exceeding 1.0. So this is a rather exclusive club. Just to illustrate this: a 100 out of 200, with a next-highest score of 50 will have a HSI value of 1.0.
2. The highest HSI value is 6.382 for Bannerman in the very first innings ever played. More on this later. However, to overtake this value, a batsman would have to score 100 out of 150, with the next-highest score being around 10. As many as 74,856 innings have been essayed since Bannerman's 165 and no one has even come close to this HSI value. Not even within 24% of it.
3. The lowest HSI value for a significant Hs1 innings is in match #786. India scored 524 for 9 v New Zealand. The highest score was by Mohinder Amarnath, with 70. The next highest score was 68 and there were six 50s in the innings. Amarnath's 70 earned him a HSI of only 0.145.
4. The highest HSI value for a significant Hs2 innings is for Javed Miandad. In match #1000 - played in 1984. Pakistan scored 230 for 3. Mudassar Nazar top-scored with 106 and Miandad was close behind at 103. Mudassar's HSI was 0.507 and Miandad's HSI was 0.479. The highest HSI value for a HS2 innings in a completed innings was for Stuart Broad's 169. Only Jonathan Trott's 184 was ahead of him and Broad's innings had a HSI of 0.418.
5. The highest HSI value for a significant non-Hs1-Hs2 innings is for Alec Stewart's 79 in match #1411. England scored 321. The top scorer was Nasser Hussain who scored 106 (HSI-0.452). The next highest scorer was Graham Thorpe with 84 (HSI-0.284). Stewart's 79 fetched a HSI of 0.267.
6. 1044 HSI values are 1.0 and above. This represents 1.3% of the total.
7. 3337 HSI values are 0.5 and above. This represents 4.5% of the total.
8. 26300 HSI values are 0.10 and above. This represents 35.1% of the total.
9.The average Hs1 for 6736 team innings is 88.8. The average Hs2 for these innings is 56.4. The ratio is 1.57: remarkably the same as ODI.
10.The average HSI value for the 74857 innings is 0.125. This average also lets us take a stand on career averages of HSI. Maybe 0.2 would an excellent career average. Fifty-one batsmen have career HSI averages exceeding 0.2. A total of 148 batsmen have career HSI averages exceeding 0.125.

I have only one overriding criterion for all tables. Irrespective of the number of innings played, Don Bradman is included in all tables. This is to see what he has achieved in all classifications.

1. Top innings HSI values in Tests
SNoHSITest #YearInnsBPosForTeamScoreBatsmanRuns1/2HS1HS2Vs
16.382 118771 1Aus245/10C Bannerman165Hs1165 18Eng
24.744103319853 3Aus308/10AR Border163Hs1163 20Ind
34.741 84619791 4Aus198/10GN Yallop121Hs1121 16Eng
44.729120619923 7Ind215/10Kapil Dev129Hs1129 17Saf
54.692186320083 1Ind269/ 7V Sehwag151Hs1151 20Aus
64.648148120003 1Ind261/10VVS Laxman167Hs1167 25Aus
74.620 73219743 2Eng432/ 9DL Amiss262Hs1262 38Win
84.559141419982 4Saf200/10DJ Cullinan103Hs1103 13Slk
94.046 7919043 3Eng103/10JT Tyldesley 62Hs1 62 10Aus
104.044169420042 5Eng226/10GP Thorpe119Hs1119 17Win
114.034132719963 4Ind219/10SR Tendulkar122Hs1122 18Eng
124.000203820121 4Slk318/10DPMD Jayawardene180Hs1180 27Eng
133.872177320051 4Win405/10BC Lara226Hs1226 34Aus
143.840154120014 1Win 88/ 7CH Gayle 48Hs1 48 8Saf
153.802117119913 1Eng252/10GA Gooch154Hs1154 27Win
163.792 58719652 3Pak307/ 8Saeed Ahmed172Hs1172 29Nzl
173.730 84119793 3Win151/10HA Gomes 91Hs1 91 15Ind
183.671 5818993 2Eng237/10PF Warner132Hs1132 21Saf
193.627 63119684 3Nzl 88/ 4BE Congdon 61Hs1 61 9Ind
203.615 13019131 1Saf182/10HW Taylor109Hs1109 19Eng
213.557 22619332 3Eng548/ 7WR Hammond336Hs1336 60Nzl
223.502143919993 1Aus184/10MJ Slater123Hs1123 24Eng
233.470 16419263 3Aus194/ 5CG Macartney133Hs1133 24Eng
243.398174720051 4Win347/10BC Lara196Hs1196 35Saf
253.372193920093 1Win317/10CH Gayle165Hs1165 27Aus
263.343 33019512 1Eng272/10L Hutton156Hs1156 29Aus
273.307125919941 3Win593/ 5BC Lara375Hs1375 75Eng
283.299127119941 4Zim462/ 9DL Houghton266Hs1266 50Slk
293.290 9119063 3Saf138/10GC White 73Hs1 73 12Eng
303.283 24819354 3Aus274/ 2SJ McCabe189Hs1189 40Saf

On a cool spring day in 1877, Alfred Shaw bowled the first ball in Test cricket to Charles Bannerman. In all probability a dot ball. The next day Bannerman retired when he had scored 165. Australia scored 245 and went on to win the first-ever Test. Bannerman's dominant hundred has remained one of the best "Ashes" (not called so in 1877) innings ever. This innings has remained at the top of two factors for well over 137 years. This is the highest percentage of a completed innings. And the HSI is a fantastic 6.382 (0.696 * 9.1667). The next highest HSI value is 4.744 for Allan Border's epochal innings of 163 against India which has a HSI value of 4.744, 24% behind. Graham Yallop's 121 against England in 1979 has a HSI of 4.741.

However, the next entry is truly amazing. Kapil Dev walked in at 27 for 5 and sculpted a superlative innings of 129, supported by three scores of 17 by Nos. 8, 9 and 10. The HSI of this unforgettable innings is 4.729, the highest, by a mile, for any late-order innings.

This is followed by two modern classics. Virender Sehwag's 151 out of 269 for 7 and VVS Laxman's SCG blitz of 167 have HSI values either side of 4.65. Then comes the defensive classic of Denis Amiss. His nonpareil match-saving innings of 262 out of England's total of 432 for 9, fetched a HSI of 4.62.

Moin Khan's Sialkot classic of 117, like Kapil's, came batting at No. 7, has a very high HSI value of 2.848. Like Kapil, he entered at 15 for 5 and advanced the team score to 212.

There is another innings which is still more amazing. On a gluepot at the Gabba during the 1950-51 Ashes tour, Australia scored 228. England declared at 68 for 7. Australia countered by declaring at 32 for 7, setting England to score 193 for a sensational win. England were staring down the abyss at 30 for 6 when Hutton, by choice batting at No. 8, walked in. He scored 62 most memorable runs. Freddie Brown supported him a little but England fell 70 runs short. One of the most remarkable innings in Test history and the highest HSI value, for a No. 8 innings, Hutton's 62 gets a HSI of 1.966.

2. Top match HSI values in Tests: Both greater than 1.0
SNoHSI-1 InnsHSI-2 InnsTest #YearForVsBatsmanTeamScore-1 InnsBatScore-1 innsTeamScore-2 InnsBatScore-2 inns
11.1211.363 1521923EngSafCAG Russell281/10140241/10111
21.6261.751 3771953NzlSafGO Rabone230/10107149/10 68
31.0101.804 5231962NzlSafJR Reid164/10 60249/10142
41.3341.613 5691964AusPakRB Simpson352/10153227/ 2115
51.8321.271 7351974NzlAusGM Turner255/10101230/ 5110
61.3331.016 7361974NzlAusGM Turner112/10 41158/10 72
71.0251.325 8731980WinNzlDL Haynes140/10 55212/10105
81.0761.12511571990PakWinSaleem Malik170/10 74154/10 71
91.5021.63613011995WinEngBC Lara216/10 87314/10145
101.3071.18813551997EngNzlMA Atherton228/10 94307/ 6118
112.1921.09415372001EngSlkGP Thorpe249/10113 74/ 6 32
121.0141.28715622001ZimSafA Flower286/10142391/10199
131.9451.00815722001WinSlkBC Lara390/10221262/10130
141.5831.05516552003PakBngYasir Hameed346/10170217/ 3105
151.4141.09520862013ZimBngBRM Taylor389/10171227/ 7102

Since these are Test matches I added a new table here. These are the players who achieved a HSI double in a match. They secured HSI values of above 1.0 in both innings. This is a very tough ask as shown by the number of qualifying entries: a mere 15 in 2122 Tests. Only two players have done this twice in their career. Glenn Turner did the double in two consecutive Tests against Australia, in Christchurch and in Auckland with innings of 101, 110, 41 and 72. The first double helped New Zealand to a rare win over their trans-Tasman giants.

The other to achieve the HSI double is Brian Lara. The first was in England during 1995. Lara scored 87 and 145 in the Old Trafford Test. The two HSI values were 1.50 and 1.63. One of only two instances of the HSI values exceeding 1.5 in both innings. But, as often happened with Lara, in a losing cause. In the two innings the highest score by another batsman was 44. Six years later Lara repeated this during his historic tour of Sri Lanka. The 221 and 130 he scored at the SSC, Colombo, fetched him double HSIs exceeding 1.0. Needless to say, again in a losing cause, albeit with better support this time.

3. Career high HSI values: Min 3000 runs
SNoHSIBatsmanRunsAvgeInnsHSI-TGt-1.0%GT-0.25%
1 0.392DG Bradman 699699.94 80 31.3 810.0% 3442.5%
2 0.340BC Lara1195352.89232 78.9 17 7.3% 7532.3%
3 0.306L Hutton 697156.67138 42.2 8 5.8% 4129.7%
4 0.289ED Weekes 445558.62 81 23.4 5 6.2% 2328.4%
5 0.289JB Hobbs 541056.95102 29.5 7 6.9% 3231.4%
6 0.278WR Hammond 724958.46140 39.0 7 5.0% 4230.0%
7 0.267GA Gooch 890042.58209 55.7 12 5.7% 5124.4%
8 0.263SM Gavaskar1012251.12210 55.3 10 4.8% 6531.0%
9 0.259Hanif Mohammad 391543.99 93 24.1 7 7.5% 2425.8%
10 0.259KC Sangakkara1115158.08207 53.6 14 6.8% 5727.5%
11 0.251DL Amiss 361246.31 88 22.1 5 5.7% 1820.5%
12 0.248KF Barrington 680658.67130 32.2 4 3.1% 4030.8%
13 0.244V Sehwag 858649.34178 43.5 10 5.6% 3519.7%
14 0.239A Flower 479451.55110 26.3 7 6.4% 3229.1%
15 0.238Mohammad Yousuf 753052.29154 36.7 8 5.2% 3925.3%
16 0.238PA de Silva 636142.98159 37.9 8 5.0% 4025.2%
17 0.238RN Harvey 614948.42137 32.6 5 3.6% 3727.0%
18 0.237CL Walcott 379856.69 74 17.6 3 4.1% 2027.0%
19 0.236LRPL Taylor 417846.94 98 23.1 4 4.1% 2626.5%
20 0.233H Sutcliffe 455560.73 84 19.5 3 3.6% 2428.6%
21 0.233RA Smith 423643.67108 25.2 7 6.5% 2523.1%
22 0.230G Boycott 811447.73192 44.1 13 6.8% 4121.4%
23 0.230DM Jones 363146.55 89 20.5 5 5.6% 1719.1%
24 0.228CH Gayle 693342.02174 39.7 7 4.0% 3520.1%
25 0.228Saeed Anwar 405245.53 91 20.8 3 3.3% 2022.0%
26 0.227IVA Richards 854050.24182 41.4 8 4.4% 4725.8%
27 0.226AR Morris 353346.49 79 17.8 4 5.1% 1620.3%
28 0.226VT Trumper 316339.05 89 20.1 5 5.6% 1415.7%
29 0.225SR Tendulkar1592153.79326 73.2 12 3.7% 8827.0%
30 0.224DJ Cullinan 455444.21114 25.5 4 3.5% 2219.3%

The top ten in this table are a testament to the effectiveness and immense value of the HSI measure. Bradman, Lara, Hutton, Everton Weekes, Jack Hobbs, Wally Hammond and Sunil Gavaskar would be in anyone's top-ten table of batsmen. The others do not lag behind. We have already seen that 0.20 is the expected career average of a top-quality batsman. Bradman almost doubles this value and Lara is 70% over. There is no doubt about their value to their respective teams.

The top 11 batsmen have career HSI averages exceeding 0.250. Gavaskar is the leading Indian batsman, with an imposing HSI average of 0.263. Hanif Mohammad leads the field for Pakistan. This shows how valuable these two pint-sized giants were for their respective teams. Kumar Sangakkara's presence in the top ten is a clear indication of his stature in Sri Lankan cricket.

I can hear the phrase "in a weak team" being tossed about, especially for Lara. Of course he played in a weak team for the better part of his career. But what about Bradman, Hutton, Hobbs and Hammond? They were in strong teams. Even Graham Gooch and Sangakkara played for relatively strong teams. Only Lara, Gavaskar and Hanif could be said to have played for relatively weaker teams. Even then Gavaskar had above-average support. So this is not a table filled with players from weak teams. It is a table of quality batsmen.

Sehwag underlines his immense value to the Indian team by occupying a top-15 position. Viv Richards and Sachin Tendulkar played in strong batting teams and this fact is reflected in their top-30 positions. Maybe if we take Tendulkar's 1989-1995 period, he would be placed much higher.

The last two columns are interesting. If we take 1.0 as the hallmark of a world class innings (only 1.3% - once in two Tests), Bradman has achieved this in 10% of the innings he has played. Lara comes next with a creditable 7.3%. Hobbs is at 6.9%. Robin Smith is a surprise at 6.5%. Similarly, taking 0.25 as an above-average level contribution, Bradman clocks in at 42.5% and Lara at 32.3%.

4. Batting Positions 1-3 - Min 50 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.420WR Hammond 57 3755 65.88 24.0
2 0.415DG Bradman 56 5078 90.68 23.2
3 0.347BC Lara 68 3860 56.76 23.6
4 0.316GM Turner 69 2887 41.84 21.8
5 0.313IVA Richards 63 3787 60.11 19.7
6 0.299DL Amiss 70 3305 47.21 20.9
7 0.298L Hutton131 6721 51.31 39.0
8 0.285JB Hobbs 98 5153 52.58 27.9
9 0.283Saeed Ahmed 59 2498 42.34 16.7
10 0.281GA Gooch189 7990 42.28 53.2
11 0.267KC Sangakkara19310468 54.24 51.5
12 0.267DA Warner 55 2462 44.76 14.7
13 0.266AJ Stewart112 4655 41.56 29.8
14 0.263SM Gavaskar199 9442 47.45 52.3
15 0.258Hanif Mohammad 62 2585 41.69 16.0
16 0.254VT Trumper 56 1909 34.09 14.2
17 0.253KC Wessels 55 2333 42.42 13.9
18 0.252DI Gower 59 2692 45.63 14.9
19 0.249V Sehwag169 8166 48.32 42.2
20 0.249SP Fleming 79 3309 41.89 19.7

It is not a surprise that Bradman leads in most of these tables. However in the 1-3 batting position table, Hammond just about edges ahead of him with a very high career HSI average of 0.42. Bradman's average is 0.415. Lara is in third place with 0.347. Turner is a surprise fourth with 0.316. It is clear that Richards out-performed his compatriots quite significantly with 0.313. Readers can see that the 20th entry in this table has a relatively high average HSI of 0.249.

5. Batting Positions 4-7 - Min 50 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.339BC Lara163 8079 49.56 55.3
2 0.337DG Bradman 24 1918 79.92 8.1
3 0.303ED Weekes 70 3858 55.11 21.2
4 0.301AD Nourse 60 2940 49.00 18.1
5 0.250A Flower104 4364 41.96 26.0
6 0.247RN Harvey 57 2693 47.25 14.1
7 0.239LRPL Taylor 96 4142 43.15 22.9
8 0.238Mohammad Yousuf151 7378 48.86 36.0
9 0.230DJ Cullinan110 4229 38.45 25.3
10 0.230DCS Compton116 5422 46.74 26.7
11 0.230JR Reid 99 3201 32.33 22.8
12 0.225S Chanderpaul22810215 44.80 51.2
13 0.225SR Tendulkar32515809 48.64 73.1
14 0.225PA de Silva148 5896 39.84 33.4
15 0.219Javed Miandad183 8678 47.42 40.1
16 0.219PBH May 59 2634 44.64 12.9
17 0.219GR Viswanath148 5605 37.87 32.4
18 0.218RA Smith 93 3566 38.34 20.3
19 0.216MD Crowe121 5209 43.05 26.2
20 0.214JH Kallis201 9896 49.23 42.9

In positions 4-7, Lara edges out Bradman by the third decimal. Then come the middle-order giants: Weekes, Dudley Nourse, Andy Flower and Neil Harvey. Tendulkar has an average HSI of 0.225 in these positions. Barring one innings, this is Tendulkar's entire career.

6. First innings - Min 40 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.516BC Lara 58 4000 68.97 29.9
2 0.454DG Bradman 22 2387108.50 10.0
3 0.295IVA Richards 48 2531 52.73 14.2
4 0.295RB Kanhai 44 2869 65.20 13.0
5 0.288Javed Miandad 60 3730 62.17 17.3
6 0.279KC Sangakkara 63 3477 55.19 17.6
7 0.260WR Hammond 46 2691 58.50 12.0
8 0.258S Chanderpaul 62 3396 54.77 16.0
9 0.258CL Hooper 42 1791 42.64 10.8
10 0.256CG Greenidge 49 2455 50.10 12.6
11 0.251Mohammad Yousuf 42 2060 49.05 10.5
12 0.250GR Viswanath 45 1688 37.51 11.2
13 0.248DPMD Jayawardene 71 3695 52.04 17.6
14 0.244V Sehwag 45 2586 57.47 11.0
15 0.235KF Barrington 41 2726 66.49 9.7
16 0.234IT Botham 57 2261 39.67 13.3
17 0.230SP Fleming 58 2980 51.38 13.3
18 0.228SR Tendulkar 89 5518 62.00 20.3
19 0.227GA Gooch 68 3101 45.60 15.4
20 0.223TT Samaraweera 42 2472 58.86 9.4

In Tests, the first innings is the marker-setting innings. The second innings is more often a reactive taking-stock innings. The third innings is a target-setting one. The fourth innings always has a target. It could be one run to win, 731 runs to win, batting out 200 overs et al. Lara leads the first innings HSI table with a remarkable average of 0.516, one of only two times a batsman has exceeded 0.5 in these tables. Bradman follows with 0.454. And then daylight and Richards and Rohan Kanhai follow with 0.295. Lara's RpI for first innings is a high 68.97.

Gavaskar is conspicuous by failing to make the cut. His HSI average is only 0.194. Milind's father is a big fan of Gavaskar. So he had the right to criticise on the lines "Yeh pyar hai, gila nahin [It is my love, not a complaint]", when he once said that India as a team would have fared better if Gavaskar eked out his second-innings performance in the first innings since the chances of a win were slim at the start of second innings. Well said, Mr Pandit.

7. Second innings - Min 40 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.402L Hutton 44 2673 60.75 17.7
2 0.323BC Lara 72 4249 59.01 23.3
3 0.312DG Bradman 28 2310 82.50 8.7
4 0.302GP Thorpe 56 2873 51.30 16.9
5 0.286V Sehwag 58 3823 65.91 16.6
6 0.286PA de Silva 43 2264 52.65 12.3
7 0.283KP Pietersen 46 2521 54.80 13.0
8 0.273SM Gavaskar 62 3552 57.29 17.0
9 0.266Mohammad Yousuf 46 2977 64.72 12.3
10 0.261MC Cowdrey 51 2537 49.75 13.3
11 0.254RN Harvey 42 2266 53.95 10.6
12 0.254DPMD Jayawardene 69 4598 66.64 17.5
13 0.250AB de Villiers 48 2638 54.96 12.0
14 0.242ME Trescothick 40 2192 54.80 9.7
15 0.238R Dravid 89 4984 56.00 21.2
16 0.228DI Gower 52 2572 49.46 11.8
17 0.227KF Barrington 40 2334 58.35 9.1
18 0.223KC Sangakkara 57 3474 60.95 12.7
19 0.222SR Tendulkar106 5692 53.70 23.5
20 0.220AC Gilchrist 47 2501 53.21 10.3

These are the reactive performances. Hutton leads with a career HSI average of 0.402. Lara follows next with 0.323 and then Bradman, with 0.312. Thorpe is in fourth place with 0.302. Then comes the marauder, Sehwag, with 0.286. Aravinda de Silva, Kevin Pietersen and Gavaskar are also up there.

8. Third innings - Min 40 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.546DG Bradman 15 1565104.33 8.2
2 0.361AR Border 76 3511 46.20 27.4
3 0.325DL Haynes 41 1938 47.27 13.3
4 0.324GA Gooch 66 2722 41.24 21.4
5 0.322KC Sangakkara 59 3161 53.58 19.0
6 0.297JH Kallis 67 3394 50.66 19.9
7 0.280VVS Laxman 52 2332 44.85 14.5
8 0.274DI Gower 62 2287 36.89 17.0
9 0.272AN Cook 46 2212 48.09 12.5
10 0.270DC Boon 55 2186 39.75 14.8
11 0.270BC Lara 56 2264 40.43 15.1
12 0.263SR Tendulkar 71 2989 42.10 18.7
13 0.260ML Hayden 41 2152 52.49 10.7
14 0.259PA de Silva 47 1692 36.00 12.2
15 0.254BB McCullum 40 1696 42.40 10.2
16 0.249Habibul Bashar 44 1416 32.18 11.0
17 0.243Inzamam-ul-Haq 51 2327 45.63 12.4
18 0.242SM Gavaskar 55 2486 45.20 13.3
19 0.242G Boycott 51 2085 40.88 12.3
20 0.239S Chanderpaul 65 2194 33.75 15.5

The third innings sees Bradman with 0.546, although he played only 15 innings. The 270 would have certainly helped. We now have some other names indicating that the requirements are different. Border, Desmond Haynes, Gooch come in. For the first time, Lara moves past the top-ten positions.

9. Fourth innings - Min 25 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.406SM Gavaskar 33 1398 42.36 13.4
2 0.378GA Gooch 29 1121 38.66 11.0
3 0.294DG Bradman 15 734 48.93 4.4
4 0.277MA Atherton 39 1375 35.26 10.8
5 0.274MA Butcher 25 787 31.48 6.8
6 0.263G Boycott 34 1234 36.29 8.9
7 0.263CH Gayle 39 1280 32.82 10.3
8 0.243RN Harvey 30 857 28.57 7.3
9 0.238Inzamam-ul-Haq 31 867 27.97 7.4
10 0.232L Hutton 31 953 30.74 7.2
11 0.231BC Lara 46 1440 31.30 10.6
12 0.229AJ Stewart 39 1136 29.13 8.9
13 0.227GC Smith 41 1611 39.29 9.3
14 0.223IR Bell 29 803 27.69 6.5
15 0.219ME Waugh 27 820 30.37 5.9
16 0.212CG Greenidge 38 1383 36.39 8.1
17 0.208Younis Khan 29 1003 34.59 6.0
18 0.208JG Wright 27 734 27.19 5.6
19 0.205G Kirsten 29 780 26.90 5.9
20 0.196V Sehwag 34 901 26.50 6.7

Gavaskar leads in the fourth-innings table with 0.406. Gooch follows closely. Bradman, with only 15 innings is next. Graeme Smith is in the top 20, with a HSI average of 0.227, but with a very high aggregate of 1611 runs. I wonder whether there was a case for combining the first and second innings as "first" and third and fourth as "second". However, what dissuaded me from doing that was my take that the third and fourth innings are quite different in the challenges faced.

Tendulkar is placed at 28th with an average HSI value of 0.179. Laxman is below average in the first innings but far better in the third and fourth innings while Tendulkar is vice versa. Dravid is better placed in innings two and three. The bottom line is that these three gentlemen worked beautifully as a team.

10 Home matches - Min 50 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.402DG Bradman 50 4322 86.44 20.1
2 0.368BC Lara111 6217 56.01 40.8
3 0.300GA Gooch126 5708 45.30 37.8
4 0.289RA Smith 62 2631 42.44 17.9
5 0.276DCS Compton 76 3963 52.14 21.0
6 0.267Mohammad Yousuf 52 3067 58.98 13.9
7 0.266DPMD Jayawardene121 6846 56.58 32.1
8 0.264PA de Silva 72 3290 45.69 19.0
9 0.262L Hutton 77 3930 51.04 20.2
10 0.257RN Harvey 66 2806 42.52 17.0
11 0.250KP Pietersen 89 4537 50.98 22.3
12 0.248MJ Slater 57 2842 49.86 14.2
13 0.244M Azharuddin 66 3412 51.70 16.1
14 0.240JH Edrich 77 3155 40.97 18.5
15 0.239DJ Cullinan 59 2363 40.05 14.1
16 0.239SM Gavaskar106 5031 47.46 25.4
17 0.237GR Viswanath 80 3280 41.00 19.0
18 0.236KC Sangakkara108 6138 56.83 25.5
19 0.236PBH May 57 2865 50.26 13.4
20 0.225S Chanderpaul119 5630 47.31 26.8

Bradman was king at home. Lara follows closely. And then Gooch and, quite surprisingly, Robin Smith.

11. Away matches - Min 50 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.375DG Bradman 30 2674 89.13 11.2
2 0.364WR Hammond 72 4245 58.96 26.2
3 0.361L Hutton 61 3041 49.85 22.0
4 0.330JB Hobbs 62 3475 56.05 20.4
5 0.315BC Lara121 5736 47.40 38.1
6 0.290KC Sangakkara 87 4082 46.92 25.2
7 0.288SM Gavaskar104 4926 47.37 29.9
8 0.288KF Barrington 57 3375 59.21 16.4
9 0.272V Sehwag 91 3930 43.19 24.8
10 0.267A Flower 56 2307 41.20 15.0
11 0.263AR Border118 5154 43.68 31.0
12 0.258M Amarnath 61 2967 48.64 15.7
13 0.250SR Tendulkar176 8705 49.46 44.1
14 0.248CH Gayle 87 3633 41.76 21.6
15 0.248R Dravid166 7690 46.33 41.1
16 0.236SP Fleming 98 4216 43.02 23.1
17 0.236G Boycott 93 3758 40.41 21.9
18 0.234IVA Richards115 5404 46.99 26.9
19 0.234Hanif Mohammad 53 2221 41.91 12.4
20 0.232DI Gower 90 3713 41.26 20.9

This definition of away included neutral locations. Look at the top five positions. Bradman, Hammond (no doubt helped by the 336 not out), Hutton, Hobbs and Lara: five of the greatest batsmen who ever lived. Gavaskar is also there. Of the modern batsmen, Sangakkara (with considerable help from runs against Bangladesh) and Sehwag (with very little against Bangladesh) are in the top ten.

12. Wins - Min 30 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.480DG Bradman 43 4813111.93 20.7
2 0.373GR Viswanath 37 1637 44.24 13.8
3 0.345GA Gooch 55 2867 52.13 19.0
4 0.317Saeed Anwar 36 2254 62.61 11.4
5 0.312WR Hammond 44 2584 58.73 13.7
6 0.302JB Hobbs 45 2720 60.44 13.6
7 0.290GP Thorpe 63 3006 47.71 18.3
8 0.284KC Sangakkara 74 4913 66.39 21.0
9 0.280GS Chappell 62 3595 57.98 17.4
10 0.274BC Lara 52 2929 56.33 14.2
11 0.269Inzamam-ul-Haq 76 4690 61.71 20.5
12 0.266L Hutton 48 2678 55.79 12.8
13 0.264M Azharuddin 32 1609 50.28 8.5
14 0.264DA Warner 31 1608 51.87 8.2
15 0.247JH Edrich 35 1771 50.60 8.6
16 0.241KP Pietersen 67 3655 54.55 16.1
17 0.241RN Harvey 66 3253 49.29 15.9
18 0.240GS Sobers 46 3097 67.33 11.1
19 0.238IT Botham 47 1918 40.81 11.2
20 0.238C Hill 44 2223 50.52 10.5

In the wins table, Bradman's name is expected. But Gundappa Viswanath's presence is wholly unexpected. That means he played many valuable innings in the 37 India wins. Saeed Anwar's contribution to Pakistan wins is highlighted. Lara is in tenth position, albeit with a good HSI average of 0.274.

13. Losses - Min 30 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.461L Hutton 39 1700 43.59 18.0
2 0.382DL Haynes 30 1065 35.50 11.5
3 0.361BC Lara126 5316 42.19 45.5
4 0.334HW Taylor 46 1569 34.11 15.4
5 0.326GN Yallop 32 1035 32.34 10.4
6 0.304RN Harvey 30 962 32.07 9.1
7 0.288Saeed Ahmed 30 1135 37.83 8.6
8 0.283SR Tendulkar112 4088 36.50 31.7
9 0.281GM Turner 35 874 24.97 9.8
10 0.273RA Smith 52 1734 33.35 14.2
11 0.271PBH May 30 1215 40.50 8.1
12 0.270AD Nourse 34 1331 39.15 9.2
13 0.263B Sutcliffe 46 1222 26.57 12.1
14 0.261JB Hobbs 42 1889 44.98 11.0
15 0.261A Flower 66 2372 35.94 17.3
16 0.254ME Trescothick 40 1467 36.67 10.1
17 0.248RB Kanhai 40 1340 33.50 9.9
18 0.247Mohammad Yousuf 65 2393 36.82 16.1
19 0.241AI Kallicharran 30 937 31.23 7.2
20 0.240JG Wright 46 1365 29.67 11.0

Note the low RpI values of batsmen in this table covering losses. Hutton has performed valiantly in the losses. Haynes and Lara are also there. Many of Tendulkar's losses would have occurred during the early years. Incidentally, this is the only featured table in which Bradman is not present. That is because, in the 22 Australia losses, Bradman averaged only 0.20 in the HSI value measure. His RpI fell to a mortal value of 43.2.

14. Draws - Min 30 inns
SNoAvge HSIBatsmanInningsRunsRpITotal HSI
1 0.462CH Gayle 45 2990 66.44 20.8
2 0.418DG Bradman 15 1231 82.07 6.3
3 0.356BC Lara 54 3708 68.67 19.2
4 0.341Hanif Mohammad 52 2771 53.29 17.7
5 0.340DL Amiss 34 1643 48.32 11.6
6 0.327PA de Silva 56 3154 56.32 18.3
7 0.316SM Gavaskar103 6101 59.23 32.5
8 0.307G Kirsten 46 2370 51.52 14.1
9 0.301V Sehwag 54 3118 57.74 16.2
10 0.299WR Hammond 60 3614 60.23 17.9
11 0.298AR Border 99 5217 52.70 29.5
12 0.291CL Hooper 44 2257 51.30 12.8
13 0.290IVA Richards 54 3043 56.35 15.7
14 0.283KC Sangakkara 59 3733 63.27 16.7
15 0.283Mohammad Yousuf 34 2298 67.59 9.6
16 0.279KF Barrington 65 3755 57.77 18.2
17 0.272MP Vaughan 41 2102 51.27 11.2
18 0.271JH Kallis 72 4337 60.24 19.5
19 0.269GA Gooch 74 3400 45.95 19.9
20 0.261KP Pietersen 52 2831 54.44 13.6

What do we have here? Chris Gayle leads the table. I get the feeling the two 300s, totaling 650 runs, have helped push this value up. Maybe for Lara also, and for Hanif.

The HSI is an excellent measure to capture two important aspects of a batsman score: the support he received (or lack of) and his contribution to the team score. The fact that 30 out of 52 would be rated much higher than 374 out of 756 indicates that the measure is size-independent. As such it has a tremendous value across years and Tests. The other inherent characteristic is the true peer-comparison aspects built in. And the fact that Clem Hill's 188 will be treated in identical manner to Jayawardene's 180, played 122 years later.

This article has already raised very justified demands for similar articles, listed below. Some suggestions for performances to be included are already in. I will try and do these after a few days.
: Sub-100 innings, not just forgotten ones.
: Late-order innings.

However my next article will be a similar performance-measuring analysis for the forgotten lot: the Test bowlers.

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

• on March 28, 2014, 6:47 GMT

Hi Ananth, Interesting to see that Richards, Haynes and Greenidge feature in the 1st, 3rd and 4th innings tables respectively. Gives a measure of how the work load was shared. Sehwag featuring high in the away matches table goes to show that he was a lot more than the obvious flat track bully that he usually gets accused of, also Flower, Amarnath and Fleming rightly find their places in the away table. Vishwnath and Gooch have a noteworthy presence high in the wins Table. Nice to see Larry Gomes in the highest innings HSI table, probably the only occasion he ever needed to come to the party.....he stood up and how :) Thanks for another gem of an article. Regards Santosh
[[
There are many such gems hidden in these tables. The Vishwanath situation is very illuminating when we compare him with other middle order giants. A grossly under-rated player.
Ananth
]]

• explorer18 on March 21, 2014, 4:10 GMT

Ananth, I have a feeling that HSI ( High Scoring Index) should only really apply to the high scorers, and not the next ones on. See, as a reader what strikes me is how the top performers rank, but I am never interested in going down to 10000th place. So, by this measure, if you only focus on the top 7681, the sqrt method will give you a pretty good result without switching to GM. I think you have already shown some examples in a previous response? The only other factors I was wondering how to include ( and did make a suggestion for both in my first post) is a) win/loss and b) high scoring performance when you have other similarly high scorers in the team. Look forward to your next update! Thanks,, Nagesh
[[
Thank you, Nagesh. The Sqrt is under serious consideration. If I include all performances, which is necessary to get career level analysis, the GM is a must. But there is nothing to prevent a separate analysis of the 7681 high scoring innings only. That would be a creme de la creme type of analysis. Will make a lot of sense. I agree that for this high-end analysis the AM would suffice because we are talking of a narrow range from 1.0 to 2.1. Anyhow we will see. I can see exciting times ahead for the HSI measure.
I hope the bowling measure, the article on which is scheduled next, receives equal appreciation.
Ananth
]]

• MilPand on March 20, 2014, 9:33 GMT

I guess we are all trying to develop a measure which can cater for both: - a few significant high performances & - an above average number of moderate efforts.

The choice between using square root of HSI with AM, using HSI unchanged with GM or sqrt of HSI with GM should be made based on how well the final values represent cricketing common-sense which you have plenty.
[[
Milind,
GM is a given and mandatory option now. On the current Hs1/Hs2 basis, Bradman's HSI values range from 2.63 (for 334) to 0.007, Tendulkar's from 4.03 (for 122) to 0.002, and Lara's from 3.87(for 226) to 0.005. This is the pattern with all the batsmen. The two values are between 400 and 2000 times apart. So the GM is absolutely necessary.
The square root of Hs1/Hs2 will change the highs of Bradman from 2.63 to 1.26, Tendulkar's from 4.03 to 1.55 and Lara's from 3.87 to 1.50. Now that I have done this for the trimurtis, I feel comfortable with this lowering of values. I will think about this for couple of days, I have the time now, and decide on that.
Ananth
]]

• MilPand on March 20, 2014, 9:30 GMT

On a linear scale, the team score is at the top. The batsman score is in the middle and the next highest score is below this. HSI for all batsmen include a ratio of Batsman score to Team score. Top batsman HSI alone has an additional mulitplier which is the ratio of Hs1 to Hs2.

On a linear scale with only two numbers, 3 & 27, if I wanted an average value X where the distance between 3 & X and X & 27 is equal, I will choose 15 as the mean value (AM with an equal distance of 12). Instead if I wanted to find an average value Y where the ratio of 3 to Y and Y to 27 is constant, then the answer is 9 (GM with an equal ratio of 3:1).

The multiplier for Top Batsman when modified to use sqrt of Hs1 to Hs2 will reduce HSI for the Top batsman which will then become the higher values for a given batsman. But the lower scale will still be 0 along with very tiny fractions. A low of 0.001 & a high value of 1.001 is akin to scoring 1 & 1001.

• explorer18 on March 19, 2014, 4:53 GMT

[[
Explorer18,
I am going to touch on this briefly since I intend to do another article with all the tweaks incorporated. This will strengthen the HSI concept and address many of the issues raised by the readers. Summary of HSI numbers given below.

```Hs1 instances(TeamInns): 7681
BatInns: 74857
HSI gt 1.0: 1045
HSI gt 0.1: 2295
HSI gt 0.01: 5173
HSI gt 0.001: 66344```
The idea to take the sqrt of Hs1/Hs2 is fundamentally sound. However in this case it will lead to a lowering of only the 7681 cases for Hs1 batsmen. These would be brought down and the other 67166 HSI values for all non-Hs1 performances would remain the same since these only pertain to BatScore/TeamScore.
My feeling is that the GM incorporation will take care of all problems especially the batsman consistency situations. The acid test is whether the GM approach will interchange the relative positions of Sehwag and Tendulkar. If the more consistent Tendulkar goes above Sehwag, the GM approach would be vindicated. And that happens, as will be revealed in the follow-up article.
Ananth

]]
Anantha, Just to clarify my comment: Or an alternate thought - what if instead of multiplying by HS1/HS2, use the square root of it? The sq rt approach will reduce the variations across teams.
What I suggested is sq.rt of HS1/H2, to dampen the range. With your example of 100/250, in case1 HS2 is 80, and case2 HS2 is 25 ( weak support). My suggestion would sq.rt HS1/HS2, which is sq.rt of 1.25 ( = 1.118) and sq.rt of 4 ( =2). So instead of multiplying 100/250 ( 0.4) with a 1.25 and 4 ( latter unfairly giving a 3.x advantage) we get a 1.118 vs 2, which reduces the spread, and is in my opinion a fairer way to factor in the HS1/HS2 ratio into the calculation. Hope that clarifies. Thank you again for your comments!
[[
As they say, in a fairly crude fashion nowadays, my bad. Or more correctly, my mistake. I do not know why I looked at sqrt of 100*80: maybe bacause I am working on the GM tables for HSI. Your suggestion makes eminent sense. It will certainly dampen the factor and on that basis, the highest HSI, which was 6.382, for Bannerman's 165 becomes 2.107, a much lower value. This might even obviate the need for GM. With a much lower maximum and a more dense range, the AM might suffice. I will request Milind to peruse this comment and respond.
Many thanks.
Ananth
]]

• explorer18 on March 18, 2014, 20:09 GMT

Anantha, I always come away with a lot more insights after I read through your analysis. Great work as always. It's fascinating to see the domination of certain players in certain unexpected places - like GR Viswanath, for example, or Lara, for such amazing consistency and all around domination. And on thinking a bit more, I think the HS1/HS2 seems to be like the beginning of a sonnet - or a beautiful thought. You are on to something here. What if - you included additional weight for - WINs ( dominating performance that led to a win - ( HS1/Hs2 + 1*Win -1*Loss) ) ( both being mutually exclusive of course) - For every team mate who made this top 100 of HSI domination index, add 0.5) this will make sure dominant performances in stronger teams stand out more.
[[
Very interesting ideas. The raw HSI provides the basis of further embellishments. YOur idea on appending a win-factor gives this an edge and purpose. Will keep this in serious consideration.
Ananth
]]
Or an alternate thought - what if instead of multiplying by HS1/HS2, use the square root of it? The sq rt approach will reduce the variations across teams.
[[
Let us say the score is 100 in two different instances. In each case the team score is 250. So the factor 100/250 is the same and works to 0.4.
Now in the first instance he has great support and the HS2 is 80. The HSI is 0.4*(1.25)=0.50, which is above-average, indicating that he received good supoort but scored a fair proportion of the team total.
In the second instance the HS2 is 25. The HSI is 0.4*4.0=1.6, very high, indicating lack of support.
Square root of 100*80 is 89.4 and of 100*25 is 50. These are "runs" in dimension and will not lead to a dimension-less factor. Also the usage is unclear.
Now if you are referring to square root of (runs/team score) then the important factor which defines the support or lack of support will not be there.
Ananth
]]
Just my 2 cents. Looking forward to next update.

• on March 18, 2014, 16:33 GMT

Looking at these tables, you have actually not brought out Lara better than SRT. If we have 0.200 as the cut off for a decent batsman, then scoring that in a strong team is lot tougher than scoring those in a weak team. So I would say Sehwag, Sachin and the like, have done a commendable job in featuring in these tables. More so for Sehwag, who literally played alongside one of the most formidable batting line-ups of last decade. SRT fans should be thanking you rather than cursing you! In fact we should look at this HSI in a different dimension (may be a bottoms up approach) - How can we analyze a low HSI value? I would say the ability of these folks to build partnerships and rally others around them can also be a reflector of a low HSI. Not always do these low HSI represent "me-too" knocks. That's why the individual tables make lots of significance (and of course, the match scorecard). Mumbai 2004 - VVS 69 in a total of 205 (HS2 55 a case in point) - Key component of a win.
[[
Thanks, Ranga, for a different insight. It is a good idea to look at the HSI average in relation to the overall team strength. But to do that properly there has to be a mammoth computation of the averages of the 6 other batsmen (of the top-7) through the career of each batsman. Thanks for sowing the seeds of another yet-to-be-thought-of measure.
Ananth
]]

• Deuce03 on March 17, 2014, 19:02 GMT

Wonderful stuff as usual, Ananth. I think as you say the idea that a strong batsman in a weak team will necessarily perform better in these measures is given the lie by the Hobbs/Hammond/Hutton trio - there were many Tests in which two of these batsmen were playing together! Then factor in that Sutcliffe and Compton (who also crop up in the above lists) and clearly these were not weak batting sides at all. Then at the other end you have Lara with a great measure from a weak side: something is going right with these calculations.
[[
Thanks, for the exact enunciation of the measure. Those who talk about Lara's high position being due to his weak team, DELIBERATELY choose to ignore Bradman and the 5/6 other batsmen who played in strong teams, in the Top-10. And this twist of visual facts, after I have specifically pointed out in my article to this contrasting situation.
Ananth
]]
(Often) when I see your work though I'm more interested to see the underrated batsmen cropping up. I'm frequently reminded how many good batsmen England had in the 60s - Cowdrey, Boycott, Barrington, Amiss, etc. - although the players are often forgotten in comparison with the sides of the 30s, 50s and today. I imagine the same holds true in all cricketing countries to an extent.
[[
England, in the 60s/70s was a formidable batting unit. Not all were attractive batsmen to watch but they were very good. I am myself surprised at how often Amiss' name has cropped up recently.
Ananth
]]

• on March 17, 2014, 11:48 GMT

Hi Ananth - An excellent article goes awry again - by people who don't understand the basis of these tables. NTLC, this article brings to light the beauty of test cricket - across matches, across innings. I think this is one article, which to me is very unbiased as every test player worth his salt finds a mention in one of the tables. Everyone has a space here and while there are names on expected lines, people like Robin Smith (we dont even mention his name among decent batsmen, while he did play some exciting knocks, esp against quickies - how weak was that English team of the 90's - they never could play the same XI in consecutive tests!) While I would go through the files in detail, one of my requests, to your already piling pipeline would be: Forgotten heroes. Much is spoken about forgotten knocks, forgotten spells, etc . . . But forgotten heroes? I know its v difficult to define it, but they can come out of these tables (may be let me figure out)!
[[
Yes, Ranga. It is the bane of my life. I fail to understand why these hijackers fail to understand the simplicity of the measure and how this brings to light the unknown heroes. Most of these people are like a horse which can see the front 30 degrees. How much of a harm that is being done to India is forgotten. Gavaskar and Sehwag are the leaders in these tables because of diametrically opposite reasons. One because he had very little support and the other because he contributed seriously to the team cause by scoring quickly and scoring more than his fair share.
Mr.Tendulkar: Member of Parliament, Bharat Ratna and Cricinfo's Player of the generation. He deserves all these and much more. A truly great player and gentleman. Impeccable record on and off the field.
But, there are other players who have contributed immensely to Indian and World Cricket. One does not need to push them under the carpet and trample them to highlight one cricketer.
Ananth
]]

• craigm_NZ on March 17, 2014, 1:19 GMT

Anantha Many thanks for a statistical measure that explains to me why Glenn Turner was my boyhood idol - for a substantial period he was New Zealand's batting (despite the presence of the likes of Congdon, Hastings and Burgess). Perhaps not the best NZ batsman of all - certainly not on the basis of batting average - but arguably the most important to his side when he played. Perhaps Turner's high position truly is a case of a very good rather than great batsman playing in a weak side (after all only one of GMT's 7 test 100s had a supporting 100). On the other hand he keeps some pretty good company in the records section in Wisden (and in this measure).
[[
And Dudley Nourse. And Stan McCabe. And Bert Sutcliffe. And Herbie Taylor. And Robin Smith. And Amiss. And Yallop. And Gooch. The top of the table is full of batsmen who might not qualify for the "great" classification but those who delivered a lot with very little support.
Ananth
]]

• on March 28, 2014, 6:47 GMT

Hi Ananth, Interesting to see that Richards, Haynes and Greenidge feature in the 1st, 3rd and 4th innings tables respectively. Gives a measure of how the work load was shared. Sehwag featuring high in the away matches table goes to show that he was a lot more than the obvious flat track bully that he usually gets accused of, also Flower, Amarnath and Fleming rightly find their places in the away table. Vishwnath and Gooch have a noteworthy presence high in the wins Table. Nice to see Larry Gomes in the highest innings HSI table, probably the only occasion he ever needed to come to the party.....he stood up and how :) Thanks for another gem of an article. Regards Santosh
[[
There are many such gems hidden in these tables. The Vishwanath situation is very illuminating when we compare him with other middle order giants. A grossly under-rated player.
Ananth
]]

• explorer18 on March 21, 2014, 4:10 GMT

Ananth, I have a feeling that HSI ( High Scoring Index) should only really apply to the high scorers, and not the next ones on. See, as a reader what strikes me is how the top performers rank, but I am never interested in going down to 10000th place. So, by this measure, if you only focus on the top 7681, the sqrt method will give you a pretty good result without switching to GM. I think you have already shown some examples in a previous response? The only other factors I was wondering how to include ( and did make a suggestion for both in my first post) is a) win/loss and b) high scoring performance when you have other similarly high scorers in the team. Look forward to your next update! Thanks,, Nagesh
[[
Thank you, Nagesh. The Sqrt is under serious consideration. If I include all performances, which is necessary to get career level analysis, the GM is a must. But there is nothing to prevent a separate analysis of the 7681 high scoring innings only. That would be a creme de la creme type of analysis. Will make a lot of sense. I agree that for this high-end analysis the AM would suffice because we are talking of a narrow range from 1.0 to 2.1. Anyhow we will see. I can see exciting times ahead for the HSI measure.
I hope the bowling measure, the article on which is scheduled next, receives equal appreciation.
Ananth
]]

• MilPand on March 20, 2014, 9:33 GMT

I guess we are all trying to develop a measure which can cater for both: - a few significant high performances & - an above average number of moderate efforts.

The choice between using square root of HSI with AM, using HSI unchanged with GM or sqrt of HSI with GM should be made based on how well the final values represent cricketing common-sense which you have plenty.
[[
Milind,
GM is a given and mandatory option now. On the current Hs1/Hs2 basis, Bradman's HSI values range from 2.63 (for 334) to 0.007, Tendulkar's from 4.03 (for 122) to 0.002, and Lara's from 3.87(for 226) to 0.005. This is the pattern with all the batsmen. The two values are between 400 and 2000 times apart. So the GM is absolutely necessary.
The square root of Hs1/Hs2 will change the highs of Bradman from 2.63 to 1.26, Tendulkar's from 4.03 to 1.55 and Lara's from 3.87 to 1.50. Now that I have done this for the trimurtis, I feel comfortable with this lowering of values. I will think about this for couple of days, I have the time now, and decide on that.
Ananth
]]

• MilPand on March 20, 2014, 9:30 GMT

On a linear scale, the team score is at the top. The batsman score is in the middle and the next highest score is below this. HSI for all batsmen include a ratio of Batsman score to Team score. Top batsman HSI alone has an additional mulitplier which is the ratio of Hs1 to Hs2.

On a linear scale with only two numbers, 3 & 27, if I wanted an average value X where the distance between 3 & X and X & 27 is equal, I will choose 15 as the mean value (AM with an equal distance of 12). Instead if I wanted to find an average value Y where the ratio of 3 to Y and Y to 27 is constant, then the answer is 9 (GM with an equal ratio of 3:1).

The multiplier for Top Batsman when modified to use sqrt of Hs1 to Hs2 will reduce HSI for the Top batsman which will then become the higher values for a given batsman. But the lower scale will still be 0 along with very tiny fractions. A low of 0.001 & a high value of 1.001 is akin to scoring 1 & 1001.

• explorer18 on March 19, 2014, 4:53 GMT

[[
Explorer18,
I am going to touch on this briefly since I intend to do another article with all the tweaks incorporated. This will strengthen the HSI concept and address many of the issues raised by the readers. Summary of HSI numbers given below.

```Hs1 instances(TeamInns): 7681
BatInns: 74857
HSI gt 1.0: 1045
HSI gt 0.1: 2295
HSI gt 0.01: 5173
HSI gt 0.001: 66344```
The idea to take the sqrt of Hs1/Hs2 is fundamentally sound. However in this case it will lead to a lowering of only the 7681 cases for Hs1 batsmen. These would be brought down and the other 67166 HSI values for all non-Hs1 performances would remain the same since these only pertain to BatScore/TeamScore.
My feeling is that the GM incorporation will take care of all problems especially the batsman consistency situations. The acid test is whether the GM approach will interchange the relative positions of Sehwag and Tendulkar. If the more consistent Tendulkar goes above Sehwag, the GM approach would be vindicated. And that happens, as will be revealed in the follow-up article.
Ananth

]]
Anantha, Just to clarify my comment: Or an alternate thought - what if instead of multiplying by HS1/HS2, use the square root of it? The sq rt approach will reduce the variations across teams.
What I suggested is sq.rt of HS1/H2, to dampen the range. With your example of 100/250, in case1 HS2 is 80, and case2 HS2 is 25 ( weak support). My suggestion would sq.rt HS1/HS2, which is sq.rt of 1.25 ( = 1.118) and sq.rt of 4 ( =2). So instead of multiplying 100/250 ( 0.4) with a 1.25 and 4 ( latter unfairly giving a 3.x advantage) we get a 1.118 vs 2, which reduces the spread, and is in my opinion a fairer way to factor in the HS1/HS2 ratio into the calculation. Hope that clarifies. Thank you again for your comments!
[[
As they say, in a fairly crude fashion nowadays, my bad. Or more correctly, my mistake. I do not know why I looked at sqrt of 100*80: maybe bacause I am working on the GM tables for HSI. Your suggestion makes eminent sense. It will certainly dampen the factor and on that basis, the highest HSI, which was 6.382, for Bannerman's 165 becomes 2.107, a much lower value. This might even obviate the need for GM. With a much lower maximum and a more dense range, the AM might suffice. I will request Milind to peruse this comment and respond.
Many thanks.
Ananth
]]

• explorer18 on March 18, 2014, 20:09 GMT

Anantha, I always come away with a lot more insights after I read through your analysis. Great work as always. It's fascinating to see the domination of certain players in certain unexpected places - like GR Viswanath, for example, or Lara, for such amazing consistency and all around domination. And on thinking a bit more, I think the HS1/HS2 seems to be like the beginning of a sonnet - or a beautiful thought. You are on to something here. What if - you included additional weight for - WINs ( dominating performance that led to a win - ( HS1/Hs2 + 1*Win -1*Loss) ) ( both being mutually exclusive of course) - For every team mate who made this top 100 of HSI domination index, add 0.5) this will make sure dominant performances in stronger teams stand out more.
[[
Very interesting ideas. The raw HSI provides the basis of further embellishments. YOur idea on appending a win-factor gives this an edge and purpose. Will keep this in serious consideration.
Ananth
]]
Or an alternate thought - what if instead of multiplying by HS1/HS2, use the square root of it? The sq rt approach will reduce the variations across teams.
[[
Let us say the score is 100 in two different instances. In each case the team score is 250. So the factor 100/250 is the same and works to 0.4.
Now in the first instance he has great support and the HS2 is 80. The HSI is 0.4*(1.25)=0.50, which is above-average, indicating that he received good supoort but scored a fair proportion of the team total.
In the second instance the HS2 is 25. The HSI is 0.4*4.0=1.6, very high, indicating lack of support.
Square root of 100*80 is 89.4 and of 100*25 is 50. These are "runs" in dimension and will not lead to a dimension-less factor. Also the usage is unclear.
Now if you are referring to square root of (runs/team score) then the important factor which defines the support or lack of support will not be there.
Ananth
]]
Just my 2 cents. Looking forward to next update.

• on March 18, 2014, 16:33 GMT

Looking at these tables, you have actually not brought out Lara better than SRT. If we have 0.200 as the cut off for a decent batsman, then scoring that in a strong team is lot tougher than scoring those in a weak team. So I would say Sehwag, Sachin and the like, have done a commendable job in featuring in these tables. More so for Sehwag, who literally played alongside one of the most formidable batting line-ups of last decade. SRT fans should be thanking you rather than cursing you! In fact we should look at this HSI in a different dimension (may be a bottoms up approach) - How can we analyze a low HSI value? I would say the ability of these folks to build partnerships and rally others around them can also be a reflector of a low HSI. Not always do these low HSI represent "me-too" knocks. That's why the individual tables make lots of significance (and of course, the match scorecard). Mumbai 2004 - VVS 69 in a total of 205 (HS2 55 a case in point) - Key component of a win.
[[
Thanks, Ranga, for a different insight. It is a good idea to look at the HSI average in relation to the overall team strength. But to do that properly there has to be a mammoth computation of the averages of the 6 other batsmen (of the top-7) through the career of each batsman. Thanks for sowing the seeds of another yet-to-be-thought-of measure.
Ananth
]]

• Deuce03 on March 17, 2014, 19:02 GMT

Wonderful stuff as usual, Ananth. I think as you say the idea that a strong batsman in a weak team will necessarily perform better in these measures is given the lie by the Hobbs/Hammond/Hutton trio - there were many Tests in which two of these batsmen were playing together! Then factor in that Sutcliffe and Compton (who also crop up in the above lists) and clearly these were not weak batting sides at all. Then at the other end you have Lara with a great measure from a weak side: something is going right with these calculations.
[[
Thanks, for the exact enunciation of the measure. Those who talk about Lara's high position being due to his weak team, DELIBERATELY choose to ignore Bradman and the 5/6 other batsmen who played in strong teams, in the Top-10. And this twist of visual facts, after I have specifically pointed out in my article to this contrasting situation.
Ananth
]]
(Often) when I see your work though I'm more interested to see the underrated batsmen cropping up. I'm frequently reminded how many good batsmen England had in the 60s - Cowdrey, Boycott, Barrington, Amiss, etc. - although the players are often forgotten in comparison with the sides of the 30s, 50s and today. I imagine the same holds true in all cricketing countries to an extent.
[[
England, in the 60s/70s was a formidable batting unit. Not all were attractive batsmen to watch but they were very good. I am myself surprised at how often Amiss' name has cropped up recently.
Ananth
]]

• on March 17, 2014, 11:48 GMT

Hi Ananth - An excellent article goes awry again - by people who don't understand the basis of these tables. NTLC, this article brings to light the beauty of test cricket - across matches, across innings. I think this is one article, which to me is very unbiased as every test player worth his salt finds a mention in one of the tables. Everyone has a space here and while there are names on expected lines, people like Robin Smith (we dont even mention his name among decent batsmen, while he did play some exciting knocks, esp against quickies - how weak was that English team of the 90's - they never could play the same XI in consecutive tests!) While I would go through the files in detail, one of my requests, to your already piling pipeline would be: Forgotten heroes. Much is spoken about forgotten knocks, forgotten spells, etc . . . But forgotten heroes? I know its v difficult to define it, but they can come out of these tables (may be let me figure out)!
[[
Yes, Ranga. It is the bane of my life. I fail to understand why these hijackers fail to understand the simplicity of the measure and how this brings to light the unknown heroes. Most of these people are like a horse which can see the front 30 degrees. How much of a harm that is being done to India is forgotten. Gavaskar and Sehwag are the leaders in these tables because of diametrically opposite reasons. One because he had very little support and the other because he contributed seriously to the team cause by scoring quickly and scoring more than his fair share.
Mr.Tendulkar: Member of Parliament, Bharat Ratna and Cricinfo's Player of the generation. He deserves all these and much more. A truly great player and gentleman. Impeccable record on and off the field.
But, there are other players who have contributed immensely to Indian and World Cricket. One does not need to push them under the carpet and trample them to highlight one cricketer.
Ananth
]]

• craigm_NZ on March 17, 2014, 1:19 GMT

Anantha Many thanks for a statistical measure that explains to me why Glenn Turner was my boyhood idol - for a substantial period he was New Zealand's batting (despite the presence of the likes of Congdon, Hastings and Burgess). Perhaps not the best NZ batsman of all - certainly not on the basis of batting average - but arguably the most important to his side when he played. Perhaps Turner's high position truly is a case of a very good rather than great batsman playing in a weak side (after all only one of GMT's 7 test 100s had a supporting 100). On the other hand he keeps some pretty good company in the records section in Wisden (and in this measure).
[[
And Dudley Nourse. And Stan McCabe. And Bert Sutcliffe. And Herbie Taylor. And Robin Smith. And Amiss. And Yallop. And Gooch. The top of the table is full of batsmen who might not qualify for the "great" classification but those who delivered a lot with very little support.
Ananth
]]

• Matth on March 17, 2014, 0:19 GMT

Very enjoyable article. The most interestng names on the list for me (and a bit Australia centric I admit) - Graeme Yallop and Dean Jones, vs very little mention of Greg Chappell, the Waughs, Hayden, Gilchrest et al. This seems to show that a very good batsman in a weak era will have more value on this measure than a very good batsman among strong peers. Which you expect for an innings importance measure. It's a shame some commenters want more out of this analysis that what it actually is.

Also interesting to see the high career value for Robin Smith, very underrated and badly treated by England in a time when they could ill afford to lose qulaity batsman.

Great to see Victor Trumper on the list. Legend has it that he was only really motivated by difficult situations. If other batsmen were scoring he tended to throw it away.

And finally, this highlights the kings of the lone hands - Lara, Sanga (at least away), Aravinda (so brilliant compared to his peers) and Andy Flower
[[
Thanks for an excellent set of insights. You have understood the idea behind a measure like this unlike some others who look at only in narrow angles. The top set in this measure is a mix of world class batsmen in strong teams and those in weaker teams who fought long and hard with little support.
Ananth
]]

• McWheels on March 16, 2014, 13:08 GMT

Ananth, I think you have tried out the measure of a team's quality in the past, for both bowlers and batters. It is possible to fold this weighting into the HS Idex? It would allow s to start seeing where weak teams had a star, and where strong teams were enhanced by genius. I think it would have to be an iterative process, as the size of the weighting would come out of a process broadly independent of the indicies used in this analysis.

Separately, I'm slightly surprised to see so little of Cook, and hardly any of Trott. Cook has very nearly the same runs and centuries as Gooch, yet Gooch appears much more regularly. Perhaps this is a surprise of the results rather than a fault in the process.
[[
Will do. An interesting idea.
Have you seen the complete tables. There are entries for Cook there.
Ananth
]]

• AnanthNarayanan on March 16, 2014, 3:46 GMT

[[
jr76
Below is the data you had asked for. I have given the top-10 sub-3000 players. In fact George Headley finishes on top, ahead of Lara and Bradman. Turner, Taylor and Nourse are in the top-10. Graeme Pollock just misses the top-10 position. McCabe follows next.

```SNo  HSI  Batsman       Runs  Avge Ins Gt1.0 %
1 0.429 GA Headley    2190 60.83  40  6 15.0%
4 0.309 GM Turner     2991 44.64  73  6  8.2%
5 0.308 HW Taylor     2936 40.78  76  5  6.6%
7 0.292 AD Nourse     2960 53.82  62  6  9.7%
13 0.262 RG Pollock    2256 60.97  41  2  4.9%
16 0.257 SJ McCabe     2748 48.21  62  3  4.8%
19 0.246 B Sutcliffe   2727 40.10  74  4  5.4%
21 0.244 Saeed Ahmed   2991 40.42  74  3  4.1%
29 0.232 GN Yallop     2756 41.13  70  3  4.3%
30 0.232 CG Macartney  2131 41.78  55  2  3.6%```
Ananth
]]

• SLSup on March 15, 2014, 21:56 GMT

Pointer to Pushkar Kale: Love that quote on bikinis and statistics but, fortunately or unfortunately, what is suggestive of bikinis is also true of cricket: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some flat out refuse what stats suggest because they'd rather settle on what is unquantifiable (concealed?) and, therefore is quite irrelevant.

I take exception to the suggestion that players from different eras cannot be compared. They can and must be. Each player deals with the same set of circumstances IN THEIR ERA and are judged by how they performed THEN. There is a reason why Bradman maintained a 99+ average in Tests and 95+ in First Class for a overall career average of 97+. He simply did better in his time THAN OTHERS. Equally true is that just as bikini's in Bradman's ear concealed more than they do today (yeah!) perhaps stats conceal less than we think - we just need to look closer! Aha! SEE? : )
[[
In reality those who do not want to compare players across generations do not do so because it shows the batsmen who they like in not so favourable light. Laver achieved what he did in the age of wooden rackets, insufficient money, amateur game etc. Federer achieved what he did in the era of powerful rackets, money pouring in, well-controlled tournament setup et al. But this applied to all in those eras. Laver's competition was no less intense than Federer's. So the 11 are comparable to 17. But then we add a rider to the 5 years (1963-68) Laver missed because he needed to earn something from the game. That is part speculation. As we do with Bradman missing 5 years at his prime. The peer comparison aspect of the HSI should make it a very valuable tool for comparing players across generations.
Ananth
]]

• rizwan1981 on March 15, 2014, 19:21 GMT

Sir, Once again Kudos for a thorough and exhaustive analysis.

I have always rated Gavaskar as the best Indian batsman- Its mind boggling that Sunny scored over 10 centuries against the Windies team of 4 Fast men hell bent on knocking his head off when today , very few batters can handle a red hot Mitchell Johnson !

Sunny's achievements are even more creditable given that he played without helmet and other protection. Batting skills have certainly eroded because of the IPL and flat tracks that the Sponsors demand-Even WACA is not the flyer it was in the 70s when Lillee and Thommo were terrorising visiting batsman.

Life will be more interesting if there were few more Mitchell Johnsons' in the world
[[
While this is not a real batsman quality measure, it brings out two key measures: what was the support received and what the batsman contributed towards the team score. There is context and that is good since this measure makes no assumptions of any sort. It is basic and can be derived in 30 seconds by perusing the scorecard. So Gavaskar doing well in these charts reveals something about his contribution, with insufficient support.
Ananth
]]

• Cool_Jeeves on March 15, 2014, 16:19 GMT

Very interesting. The Hsi seems to combine two qualities - strong peer group outperformance as well as performance in weak teams which has an inflating effect upon normal good batsmen.

I prefer the good old grade wise average where the grades are easy, normal and tough, and performances against each could be isolated.

Now if only grade wise HSI could be done...surely not beyond you. The grades were after all just innings groupings. S instead of ip first, second, third, fourth innings etc. you could just do grade wise, will say it all...
[[
Yes, it is possible. I have to think my way through, though. Let me perfect the HSI itself based on reader comments. The GP is a good start.
Ananth
]]

• MilPand on March 15, 2014, 9:52 GMT

If N = N1 + N2 where N1 equals number of non-zero values & N2 equals total zero values. And GM1 = GM of positive values and GM2 = GM of 0 values.

Then GM = ( N1/N * GM1 ) + (N2/N * GM2)

But GM2 for zero values is 0. Hence

GM = N1/N * GM1
[[
Milind, I agree that even though the peaks for Test matches are not that high like ODIs, within a batsman, there would be a number of values way below 0.1 and quite a few values above 0.2. So, within a batsman, GM may be more apt. Anyhow let us wait for more comments. Surely there is a follow-up needed to be done and I could build in the GM concept there.
Ananth
]]

• MilPand on March 15, 2014, 9:42 GMT

"I get the feeling the two 300s, totaling 650 runs, have helped push this value up. Maybe for Lara also, and for Hanif."

I am not sure about the benefit of using GM vis-a-vis the cost of appropriately dealing with zero values in this data-set. In my opinion, GM is more suitable for test matches where a batsman gets an opportunity to score a few 250+ skyscrapers. Here is an extract from http://pandimi.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/gm/ :

"Geometric Mean tends to dampen the effect of a few very high values. What is the mean value of a house on a street where most of the properties are similarly priced but one of these happens to be a mansion? Suppose there are ten properties in a street valued at 100K, 80K, 50K, 95K, 120K, 70K, 105K, 1 Million, 60K & 90K. The Arithmetic Mean of 177K is higher than the price of remaining 9 properties but Geometric Mean of about 106K represents a fairer average."

How to deal with zeroes?

• on March 22, 2014, 5:33 GMT

This measure is so good at comparing across generations, I might even eventually make sense (when stealing as proof lolz). So when picking say a WI top 6 and instantly penciling in Headley at 3, Weekes at 4 and Sobers at 6......... who misses out at 5 ? *sheesh (and a problem I've had since saw Lara - should it be Sobers ?)

• Bonehead_maz on March 21, 2014, 21:43 GMT

G'day Anantha ...... everyone. When you first started playing with HSI, it immediately felt really good to me. With your further tweaks it feels spot on. Congratulations ! Very sad to have been on holiday (especially lol as it wasn't to RSA) and missing your last pair of articles, brought tears to my eyes reading them.
[[
Murray, I felt your absence a lot. Many thanks for your kind words. These are worth a lot.
Ananth
]]

• blade_pakkiri on March 19, 2014, 10:09 GMT

Contd..

As an Indian, I can understand the significance of Tendulkar's staggering run count, but I was never a fan of his batting. I admired Lara's elegant batting more, identified with it better. I admired Warne's bowling slightly more than Murali's. I have often argued with friends and strangers, over who was better. There is fun in that exercise. But I didn't blind myself to the fact that my opponent had the right to his/her opinion. It hurts that name calling and ad-hominem attacks stifling others' opinion has become very common among South Asian commentors on this board. Not that other countries don't have such idiots, just that sheer numbers of Ind, Pak and SL posters brings out a sizable number of idiots and trolls.
[[
Lovely pair of comments. If a Saidapet pick-pocket, you have drawn your pseudonym from this individual, ever exhibited such a nice command over the language and balanced views soon he would be teaching in IIT. May your tribe flourish.
Ananth
]]

• blade_pakkiri on March 19, 2014, 10:03 GMT

Hi Ananth, Wonderful analysis which no doubt I believe will evolve. As far as the question of HSI of a strong batsman in a weak team over a strong batsman in a strong team, I'm of the opinion that consistent displays of high scoring against quality bowling only highlights quality batsmanship, doesn't matter if the batsman is on a weak team or a strong team. Now incorporating strength of opposition bowling in this study is another can of worms.

As to the "critics" over here who can't understand statistics or objectivity or even the fun in making comparisons, please don't indulge them with your replies. They don't deserve any. Contd in Part 2

• on March 18, 2014, 19:23 GMT

Tendulkar fans love to talk about World Cup centuries, but guys, three of Tendy's WC centuries were vs Kenya and Namibia. The other 3 were loses. Compare to Ponting's 5 WC centuries (albeit one vs Scotland), and Lara's 2 WC centuries vs big South African bowling attacks.
[[
You may be justified because you are only responding to earlier comments. However let me remind you that this is an article on Test cricket.
Ananth
]]

• SLSup on March 18, 2014, 14:57 GMT

Response to Anantha: Yes I did read your comment with Headley and rest, sometimes it is not possible to get all info one needs with only 1000 characters to play with! : ) I think the tweak is needed and if it is necessary to keep the entries realistic you can always distinguish specialist batsmen from the rest to avoid needless cross-comparisons that make 'one-time-wonders' feature better than regular bats.

Weeks back I had insisted elsewhere in a post that folks shouldn't compare SRT with Sanga but with Gavaskar. I was glad to see HSI recognize this 'cos there is more to even arithmetic analysis than most care to notice. I like how your geometric method, also. Good on you for developing it.

Like your axiom and I speak as one who reminds my family and friends that the only thing we can ever prepare for in life is death because that is the only certainly. And while we are living we must come up with ways to compare! Haha.

• harshthakor on March 18, 2014, 14:34 GMT

Viv Richards playing for av very strong team was a disadvantage in the evaluations and another great was Ricky Ponting.Considering the bowling he faced and the fact that he opened Gavaskar could well have been at the top.

• harshthakor on March 18, 2014, 14:32 GMT

Ananth,great work.

Morally to me George Headley consistently was at the top of the tree considering the brunt he bore of his team's batting in terms of average percentage score Headley averaged 90 in matches won and morally outscored Bradman.Graeme Polock played for a great team but was arguably next to only the Don if you asses his efforts when scoring 125 out of 160 and in high scoring tests versus Australia at home in 1969-70.When he top scored Ian Chappell was more effective than brother Greg in a crisis while Dravid would make a bigger impact than Tendulkar.

I agree Brian Lara deserves his rank as no batsmen who could compile mammoth scores at such a brisk rate and turn matches and series for a weak team more than any batsman since the war.Viv Richards to me is not done justice who could turn the complexion of a game morally more than even the Don but sadly his Packer efforts were not counted.Greg Chappel's case was similar.Kanhai at his best was the ultimate batsman.
[[
The more I see George Headley's figures the more I think that he, despite the paucity of Tests he played in, his credentials to be an all-time top-5 batsman have to be considered seriously. Maybe he played in a weak team but the 1930s was the period when there were no easy teams to face. The irony is that he scored 2014 runs in his first 17 Tests at an average of 69.45 and added only 181 runs in the last 5 Tests. And these 17 matches were against England and Australia.
Ananth
]]

• criccylife on March 18, 2014, 11:50 GMT

Actually Viswanath's high ranking in wins is not a surprise. There can be little doubt that Vishy was a great player in matches where batsmen from both teams struggled, resulting in wins for India. Kolkatta and Chennai in 1974-75, Chennai again in 1978-79, Melbourne in 1980-81.....adequate evidence....just note his low RPI in these tables to see what i mean about batsmen from both teams struggling....if they weren't struggling, an RPI of 44 cannot be matchwinning

i did some research and found that he crossed 75 only 27 times.....and 24 of these were top scores from the team
[[
A most under-rated batsman was Vishwanath. The modern followers would do well to study the careers of Vishwanath, Gavaskar, Amarnath et al to understand what they achieved against odds.
Ananth
]]

• Cool_Jeeves on March 18, 2014, 10:37 GMT

Ananth, Fine, will look into Sehwag and Lax 4th innings in next few days. Secondly, in my comment, it is Laxman at 21 and sehwag at 20th. Please correct that else some other reader would be puzzled if he looked at it. Finally, what is the averaging method for HSI? is it a simple average or some weighted average using runs etc. as weight?
[[
As of now it is a straight-forward AM. I think GM is a preferred solution. Weighting is not advised. A 30 out of 52 (2.795) should not lose out against a 202 out of 344 (2.785). To avoid the vultures hovering around, I have selected two Hutton classics.
Ananth
]]

• Cool_Jeeves on March 18, 2014, 7:38 GMT

Ananth, It is the delta between comparative avg and position in table that puzzles me.

1) Ponting v/s Smith in 4th inn.. Ponting is 39th and Smith is 13th. But Ponting averages the same as Smith, around 50-51 in the 4th innings.

2) Laxman v/s Sehwag - 20th and 21st. But their 4th inn averages are 40 and 31.

Smith and Ponting have both played for strong line ups. It could be that playing in SA but still averaging as much as Ponting has lifted Smith, since many SA batsmen have lower home averages than away, as it appears tests in SA have been lower scoring than elsewhere.

Laxman and Segwag were from the same batting line up which included other good batsmen. Their careers started 5 years apart. Sehwag strengthened the line up, if anything.

So a batsman like Sehwag could average the same, but generate higher HSI if he violently outperforms others during his good performances.

So what explains this disparity, if you think it is a disparity, that is...
[[
Gerry
First you should not think there is any correlation between Avge/rpi and HSI. A 50 out of 300 which is the second Hs, would have a HSI of 0.167. A 50 out of 150, with the next Hs being 20, would have a HSI of 0.833, 5 times the first. Both innings have Avge/rpi of 50.
Sehwag's 31 might be 60 & 2 while Laxman's 40 might be 50 & 30. These could have widely varying HSIs.
It is also possible that Smith and Sehwag have couple of high HSI innings and this has pushed the avge high. One reason why a GP might be a better idea.
I would get a better idea if I get Sehwag's and Laxman's fourth innings tables. But I have no time to do that. Maybe if you have the time, please do that and enlighten the readers.

Ananth
]]

• TATTUs on March 18, 2014, 5:57 GMT

cont. [1000 char limit is really annoying and should not be there for a site which is more than 20 years old IMHO]

As for the helmet, there are different views. Unquestionably, though they provide protection. But strictly speaking of batting, they limit your viewing zone and that hampers batting. Some like Ian Chappel and Viv Richards have even said the batting skills are abridged by helmets. You see a lot of balls nowadays hitting the grill and bouncing off the head even with the 2 bouncer limit. Had that happened in the 60s too many batsmen would have been dead. But it didnt happen, did it, except for the odd cases? That says they handled bouncers better than the current crop and without the helmet.
[[
My take is that the short pitched bowling with no batsman protection, gave the batsman a better view towards ducking. Now we see some batsman ducking blindly indicating that they have a blind spot because of the helmets.
Ananth
]]
Personally, having played some low grade cricket, I feel its easier to bat without a helmet. Of course you dont have protection. But I am speaking of batting only. Saying a batsman is better because he played without a helmet is not correct IMO.

• TATTUs on March 18, 2014, 5:48 GMT

cont. Now coming to the first, yes of course you couldn't possibly correct ALL the readers comments. But all I said, was you could possibly do that in the comments which you mark as 'best picks'. As for the second. I really appreciate what Gavaskar did. Some of his innings have not been repeated yet by any Indian. Like is 200 in a thrilling draw at the Oval. I just pointed out a wrong statement, glaringly wrong, in one of the 'pick' comments. Scoring 10 100s against an attack consisting of those 4 bowlers is impossible in my opinion. Any batsman who does that have to be placed above even Bradman. Infact Gavaskar has 3 100s including his highest score, when at least 2 of them have played. That in itself is a big achievement. But a fact as glaringly wrong as that should either be corrected or should not be picked as a top comment.

TBC
[[
I agree. I will spend a few extra minutes on the featured comments.
Ananth
]]

• Cool_Jeeves on March 18, 2014, 5:46 GMT

A couple of observations - Ananth, your comments would really help understand what is happening better.

1) Ponting has a very good 4th innings record. in the top 20 of the 4th innings list he is no where to be seen.
[[
Ponting is in 39th place with an average HSI of 0.161 in 43 innings and an aggregate of 1462 runs. These are not earth-shattering figures. This entry is in the complete table.
Ananth
]]
2) GC Smith is supposed to be a 4th innings titan. He is a no show in top 20 also in 4th innings. Is it that he inspired all his team mates so much with his opening burst that they responded superbly in 4th innings? Or have there been others like Faf and de Villiers, and poor GC is stuck in a team full of 4th innings champions?
[[
Smith is in 13th place with 41 innings, 1611 runs at 39.29 and a HSI avge of 0.227. How do you say he is a no show. And people talk of the aggregate of Smith as the highest ever. But he played in 41 innings.
Ananth
]]
3) Two people in same team with contrasting positions in 4th innings HSI - Segwag, with an average of only 31, is in 20th place. VVS Laxman with an average of 40 is not in top 20 in 4th inn HSI. How is that possible at all? Of course, a stunning success would compensate with a few failures where others did not do too well either, but can there really be such a delta?
[[
Laxman is in 21st place in the 4th inns table, just behind Sehwag with an avge HSI of 0.192 (Sehwag - 0.196). As a long standing reader you should first download the complete file, check in that file and then raise the question.
Ananth
]]

• TATTUs on March 18, 2014, 5:35 GMT

@ Anant

I will reply to the first 2 of your points. As for the 3rd[actually there are two 2s in your reply :) to 'split the hairs'] and fourth I can do nothing but concur. I think I have note received a reply from a cricinfo writer since one writer [sadly I dont remember his name] replied in e-mail to me. That tells that you love to discuss with the readers and not looking this as a 'job' which is appreciable.

TBC
[[
Thanks a lot for understanding me and my style of working.
Ananth
]]

• on March 18, 2014, 5:02 GMT

I noticed one thing common in comment section of all of your articles...it some how turns out to be lara vs tendulkar. And, people bring all different logic to bring down lara. Why do people need to bring down one player to highlight another people?
[[
My articles can be summarized as follows: New measures, new insights, whimsical look at the past, appreciation of greatness irrespective of the source, not putting down any player and a continuing thread of humour. People, unfortunately, give these articles different colours.
Ananth
]]

• SLSup on March 18, 2014, 4:39 GMT

Response to TATTUs: For someone who claims not to be a die-hard SRT fan you have gone farther than most to compare even players age! Believe what you wish. Say a prayer for me. Note to Ahmad Uetian: Wonder if you noticed you called HSI a "flawed" method when on one has claimed it to be perfect! : ) I personally prefer arithmetic to geometric analysis of player comparisons but I don't see how the HSI cannot be appreciated for what it represents, albeit with room for improvement. One doesn't have to appreciate what Anantha has done to encourage it. For example, I prefer a more exhaustive comparison that is all inclusive than to set a 3000 run threshold that leaves players like Headley out. Most of what you say, as it is with some others who've commented, clearly miss the point of HSI and, therefore, have spent an inordinate amount of time and energy punching the air. What is the point of BEING HUMAN if it is not to advance and appreciate the art of comparisons?
[[
There is ONLY ONE AXIOM that is 100% perfect and accurate and ifallible. "All who are born will die". Nothing else. I know that HSI is a developing measure. Even my dear friend, Milind, who edits the articles, has correctly stated that the GM will cater to the expected peaks in any such distribution. So we will plough along, correcting and improving as we do do. But to ascribe ulterior motives to every article I do and every measure I develop, smacks of intolerance of the worst kind. I would be happy to be spared such readers.
Incidentally I have done the work for 2000+ runs and posted a response. I hope you saw that. In fact I do not see many problems in tweaking the measure to take away this restriction.
Ananth
]]

• StefanAbeysekera on March 18, 2014, 3:11 GMT

It's not reasonable to compare batsmen of a different era with today's greats. It would be interesting to try this this system with today's bowlers. Murali would stand out head and shoulders above everyone else.

• on March 17, 2014, 18:26 GMT

with due respect sir and all other pages and pages of analysis leads to paralysis. Just find out how many matches INDIA won when Sachin scored a hundred or a fifty or no score. Then only can one find a utility of a player in a team. Just scoring tens thousand runs in losing matches count for nothing. Dyhan chand scored goals on hockey fields therefore India won. Similarly find out for lara boycott viv and as many you like But the main point is whether their country won or lost.

• on March 17, 2014, 18:16 GMT

Having taken a look at your technical credentials, I am surprised you r fascinated by Occasional Heroics...............Razzaq played miraculous 100 to win Pak a match in Sharjah vs SA..........Yousaf Pathan played a miraculous 100 vs SA in SA.............Gibbs played all time greatest ODI inn to chase down 434 ........Sehwag played miraculous 200 vs Mendis in a series in which Sachin & Dravid's total score was 100 below.....Yovraj won man of the match every 10th match & was man of the series in WC (but was dropped bcz he wasn't contributing at all in the other games)........... All these guys were dropped. BCZ TEAM NEEDS CONSISTENT BIG INNS. Inconsistent Afridi & Watson r holding on to their places bcz of all round capabilities
[[
What is the connection between my technical credentials (what do you know about that anyhow) and my fascination by occasional heoics. I think you are getting more obscure comment by comment and it is better to stick to simple understandable comments.
Ananth
]]

• on March 17, 2014, 17:58 GMT

@Ananth I had comented on your 1 month article too & I have dragged some of those comments here too bcz I have figured your biased mindset esp your bias against Sachin.

Even after your mention of Sehwag's few good inns those r still too few for 10 yr long carrer, compared to Kallis's or ALL TIME G8 AUSSIE TEST TEAM MEMBERs' consistent performance. Sehwag's 1 excess inn per year couldn't even warrant his place in his side. Lara too was dropped due to his inconsistency & attitude problems. Captain wants consistent big inns (90+ in ODI , 150+ in test) not occasional huge excess inn followed by an year long drought.
[[
This is my last response to your comments. Anyone who says that Sehwag did not play enough big innings (look at how many 150+ & 200s he scored) and that Lara was dropped does not warrant any response from me. Thanks.
Ananth
]]
Besides I am Paki & my actual favorite is Inzi but I don't bring out irrational criteria's to raise him above the rest: like highest % of 100s in wins, (Bcz I know Paki batsmen have to score even just below par total for our strong bowling to win us matches most often) etc etc. He had potential to be world's best batsman but his stats & contribution simply doesn't support him

• Drifting on March 17, 2014, 15:36 GMT

Cool article.

Great to see Hanif M. up there, weaver of long-forgotten epics. Away from the subcontinent, he'd open my Indo-Pak All-Time XI with Sunny.

Interesting to see both Hobbs and Sutcliffe on the list, guess the middle order following them wasn't too flash? Also think Hobbs was very strong on difficult batting tracks.
[[
Hobbs was, arguably, the greatest tough-pitch batsman of all times.
Ananth
]]
Also interesting to see both Weekes and Walcott on the list. Considering Worrell was around at the time, you'd think they'd be lower. I suppose they scored at different times against different oppositions? Think Weekes had a ball in India, whilst Walcott had a couple of lone ranger series (e.g. home series against Australia?)
[[
Yes, that is true. They flowered at different times. One reason why they have also not scored too many runs.
Ananth
]]
Finally, great to see Aravinda on that list, the 44 average never did him justice. His batting and his personality made him talismanic and he rallied the Sri Lankan batsmen around him in a way that Lara never seemed to manage.
[[
Aravinda probably had a better collection of batsmen around him. I may, of course, be wrong.
Ananth
]]

• jacknathan on March 17, 2014, 13:16 GMT

Could this possibly be the only statistical measure of batting performance that does not include both Ricky Ponting or Steve Waugh anywhere in the top-20/30 list? :-)

• TATTUs on March 17, 2014, 12:20 GMT

[[
A few things.
1. I cannot keep on correcting mistakes by readers. I have many pieces of data floating my mind. But not all. The mistakes are the reader's, not mine. If these are mine and some readers point out, I immediately apologize and correct.
2. You are splitting hairs. 4 WI quicks or 3, what does it matter. When someone does not have a helmet, one would do. If you or anyone cannot appreciate what Gavaskar has done, your own appreciation of any contemporary Indian cricketer has no value.
2. There is no one like me to accept criticism and publish comments. But I have clear lines drawn. If these are crossed I see red. If anyone says that I am an imperial lackey, I say "**** ***" and publish the comment after trashing his words. You will see that I have not done that with your comment. Rest assured that if you do not cross the lines, every comment will be published.
3. The links are provided by Cricinfo. I do not do. Hence I expect that the comments will be relevant to the current article. Accept my apologies if I misunderstood you.
Ananth
]]

• on March 17, 2014, 11:31 GMT

I quickly checked for Chanders and he is there. Inzi in winning innings and he is there too. People fail to understand that this can also be called Helplessness Index partly due to the lone struggles they face in their team. I am your and Lara fan and usually checkin to the blogs when they are posted, as well as to relieve myself by reading the comments section. If Sachin is not on top, its mindless and If Pakistani is not in the list, its biased. :)

• on March 17, 2014, 10:26 GMT

One name that appears to be missing is that of Javed Miandad. you need to compare the bowling ratings to get a fuller answer. Javed batted against both the might of the West Indies pace attack, as well as the Australian fast bowlers led by Lillee. For that reason alone, he should be up there with the other great names of that era, especially the Aussie batsmen who didn't have to face Lillee and co, and the West Indians who did not have face their own pace battery.
[[
Miandad is there in a mid-table position with an average HSI value of 0.215. But he is at the top in the First innings and Batpos 4-7 tables.
Ananth
]]

• TATTUs on March 17, 2014, 10:13 GMT

@SLSup

Your argument of 'if they had played 200 tests' doesnt hold. Even taking that as it is for arguments sake, Tendulkar had 35 100s in 203 innings. Sangakkara took 209 innings. Kallis took 235. Prediction doesnt work. Otherwise Sachin had 30 100s in 159 innings and he was 28 at that time, when he broke Dons tally. He took another 44 innings for 5 more with Tennis elbow in the fray. I am posting this just because Anant didnt make any effort to counter your argument which doesnt hold and not because I am one of those die hard Tendulkar fans. A wrong point must be countered who ever makes it.

• on March 17, 2014, 8:56 GMT

[[
Content deleted because of offensive language.
Ananth
]]

• rizwan1981 on March 17, 2014, 8:23 GMT

Ananth , did you ever think of trying your hand at political analysis? Perhaps , you could be India's answer to Nate Silver (who did such a brilliant job in the 2008 and 2012 American elections)
[[
Rizwan, here at least people only call me names and threaten, in a harmless manner, to cause bodily harm. If I went into political analysis, people may actually do that because a fair number of thugs masquerade as leaders.
Yes, Nate Silver was magnificent.
Ananth
]]

• Ali_Chaudhary on March 17, 2014, 8:13 GMT

Waste of time. Wish you could use this energy for any positive matter.
[[
My time is my worry. Why do you waste your time by coming to this site of complex analysis and waste further by sending in a comment.
Ananth
]]

• criccylife on March 17, 2014, 7:06 GMT

Dear Anantha, Viswanath's presence at # 2 in "win" matches says a couple of things...that he was brilliant at playing a lone hand and ensuring that the team won.....and his RPI of 44 says that he did this particularly well in low scoring matches.... effectively, he was one of the greatest batsmen in tough conditions for batting and helping the team win... agree?
[[
The combination of Gavaskar and Vishwanath was indeed a great one. Unfortunately today's cricket followers know nothing about what they faced and delivered.
Ananth
]]

• SinghNihar1 on March 17, 2014, 7:02 GMT

[[
Is everyone out of their minds. A month back there was an analysis on HSI dedicated to ODIs. Despite my repeatedly telling that this is a TEST-ONLY analysis why do you guys come in with your ill-informed comments on ODI numbers.
So your considered opinion is that fielders like Rhodes would have single-handedly reduced Bradman's average by 46 runs per innings. Do you know anything about Hammond, Constantine, Hobbs etc who were considered to be fielders equal to the top fielders of today. Pl do not waste everybody's time here. There are enough articles singing Tendulkar's praise. It will not be a bad idea to move your comments there. You will find many people who think similar to you.
Ananth
]]

• on March 17, 2014, 6:08 GMT

4). FREQUENT MATCH WINNING EFFORTS: Rate of earning man of the match (MOM) is good indicator. But it is slightly biased towards winning team. If excessively poor bowling is wasting Kohli's or Sachin's g8 inns it's not their fault.

5). SUPERIOR PERFORMANCES IN BIG MATCHES: Tournament finals, WCs.

6). BALANCED PERFORMANCE VS ALL TEAMS.

7). Finally longevity from players with above 3 qualities so that over longer duration team remain competitive.

If u do analysis of these qualities: Only Sachin & Richards will be among top 5 on most of these measures.

Sachin & Richards stand out in ODI Bradman, Kallis, Sachin, Dravid, Ponting, Hayden stand out in tests.

This is the reason why People call Sachin God & Kallis the King & Bradman the DONâ€¦â€¦. PERIOD.

• on March 17, 2014, 6:06 GMT

Mate: not every new innovation is for good. U r trying to innovate new measures for batsmen but old measures r more useful for analysis of batsmenâ€¦From captain's perspective most imp quality in a batsman is 1). CONSISTENCY: runs per inns not avg boosted by not outs. Not out doesn't add tiny bit to team total 2). S/R in ODIs 3). Consistent big inns not occasional excess inns what Lara/Sehwag delivered. No wonder Lara couldn't get to final of even single WC despite playing just 1 less WC than Sachin & having much superior bowling support till 2003. A 100 @90+ SR is a perfect inn in ODI as it more often ensures 280+ (above par) team total (For your info avg totals on even Indian grounds in non Indian matches is 255. I don't include Indian matches as they r always outliers as Indian bowling outstandingly poor & batting outstandlingly superior resulting in frequent 350+ ODI totals & cumulative batsmen avges of 80+ in tests) & 150-200 is perfect inn in test causing 500 total...contd
[[
Why are you bringing in ODI numbers in a Test analysis. Are you worried that you will have insufficient weaponry in Tests. So anything goes. I suggest limit your comments to Tests only. Sehwag delivered occasional excess innings??? Entirely laughable. 195, 309, 173, 254, 180, 319, 201*, 293, 165, 83. Enough glittering stars which will be there forever. I understand that you want to bring down Lara. That is understandable in view of your overall views. But why do you bring down your own countryman to push up another. Not entirely cricket, my mate.
Ananth
]]

• TATTUs on March 17, 2014, 5:38 GMT

Ananth , just to say. Do you know when these analysis go pointless [ Hats off for your continuous efforts in math magic of cricket.]? Its when you dont count the world cup match in centurion 03 vs Pakistan [or even the one against ZIM] as 'important'.
[[
I would appreciate if some reader can advise me whether I should laugh or cry. Either way I will have tears in my eyes. Mr.Shenoi, when was Centurion '03 match against Pakistan accorded Test status?
Ananth
]]

• on March 17, 2014, 5:02 GMT

totally agree with @Rohit Seth......GUYS GUYS GUYS...look what auther hiself says .........."No one is turning anyone to great or poor. This is one of the many measures, that is all. Also look up at the batsmen table. Look at the greats who are placed at the top there. So this measure is not there just to push mediocre players higher or vice versa". HSI is just a measure of how much potentially superior a batsman is/was compared to his teammates. THAT"S ALL. It is not a measure of all time greatness.
[[
Guys Guys Guys, was this ever mentioned as such in the article. Every article that is published is taken by you guys to be a batsman rankings article, Tendulkar's position looked for, and if it is not no.1, out come the comments. Some crude and vitriolic, some in flowery language, some in meaningful language and so on. It is you guys who do not care to understand what is being presented. I also suggest you understand that HSI is also a measure of the contribution to the team cause. Kindly do not ignore that.
Ananth
]
If Sachin doesn't get high HSI rating then finest ever test team players: Ponting, Hayden, Gilli get very low HSI.& so do Kallis. bcz but they were accompanied by people of similar capability and consistency.

• Kamlesh on March 17, 2014, 3:29 GMT

HSI louds performances of batsmen who were stars in their mediocre batting line-up. So even a batsman who scored very significant % of runs for a strong batting line-up will end up having lower HSI. So players like Rahul Dravid who played so many supporting innings have very low HSI.

• SLSup on March 17, 2014, 3:22 GMT

Response to semincolumbia: Yours is a old argument that's been visited and resolved before. I wish fellows like you do some homework before you run your mouth. If you did you'll find Sachin averages 50.37 out of sub-continent while Sanga averages 47.31. Between 9 Test playing nations Sachin is better than Sanga in SA/ENG only (+ his home record against AUS compared to Sanga's). Look it up. Don't waste space on an article where the primary focus is the use of geometrics to analyse the top Test scorers (where, BTW, Sachin doesn't show up much compared to Sanga). Ideally, you should now regret bringing this up : ) But you won't cos you are a Believer. For a psychoanalysis of why this is so, read my previous post again.

• samincolumbia on March 17, 2014, 0:53 GMT

@SLSup - What are you going on about the SL and SA boards not having influence? SRT's overseas records in tests and ODI's (including World Cups) are in a league of their own. Kallis and Sanga does not even come close. In tests though, Kallis was a force to reckon with. As for Sanga, take away his sub continents stats and it's ordinary.

• SLSup on March 16, 2014, 20:52 GMT

Response to Ananth's answer. Sounds good. It appears to me that whenever a player appears to do better than someone that is PERCEIVED as doing better by others there is this cop-out saying "...well, he's a flat-track, home-town bully" with nothing to either substantiate it or disprove it. I feel an overall analysis how teams have done in specific grounds and THEN compare players against how well they have done comparatively in each of these grounds will minimize the need to overly simply things to (say) Home & Away. Regardless of whether one plays Home or Away, I think it matters how they've done in similar pitches and conditions all over. I guess I am looking for something to tweak the argument than to generalize it.

• SLSup on March 16, 2014, 17:37 GMT

FIRST: Reaction to Nadeem Sharifuddin: Your statement that SRT is the best cricketer ever is unqualified. One can sit for an interview and say I am the best qualified for the job but if his previous experience stacks up less impressive against others you'd be stupid to hire him. One doesn't need to look deeper at stats to know SRT has more runs and centuries cos he played for so long and so many more games. EVEN HERE, compare Kallis's 41 hundreds in 154 games or Sanga's 35 in just 122 games to SRT's 51 in 200 and you'll see either Kallis or Sanga will have BETTER stats than SRT if they get to play 200 Tests. Their respective boards haven't had the resources (influence?) to provide as many opportunities to Kallis & Sanga. You are a BELIEVER. The difference between believing and knowing is when you KNOW you can stop believing things! Makes sense?
[[
The reactions are exactly what I fear. The main thread of the articles are lost in these petty arguments. Nadeem was fine. At least he made his point in a reasonably civilized manner. There are others whose comments had to be quashed because of the vitriolic nature and the language used. It is a pity. These guys are missing out on the new ideas presented because of their short-sightedness. In 2001, when I presented the Wisden-100, everyone only complained about Tendulkar's absence. There was not a single voice admiring Laxman's 281, placed fourth.
Ananth
]]
SECONDLY: Ananth, how about an analysis that looks at pitch aggregates and a comparative player performance based on that?
[[
SLS, I had done some really path-breaking work on Pitches/Bowling Quality during the middle of 2011. These were some of the best received articles I have done. Gerry has also asked something on HSI and the groups I had created using Pitch/Bowler combination. I will look at it carefully to see what can be done. A lot of this work has to be a refresher course even for me who had done the work earlier.
Ananth
]]

• on March 16, 2014, 14:54 GMT

This kind of complete analysis is warranted - to the players in the history of game into right perspective place, as it shows, SRT is either not to be found or only to be found @ the bottom of the food chain in any of thes. Gavaskar rightly to be found way above SRT. Also surprising this clarified how great Sehwag contribution from 2nd inning among big 5.
[[
Sehwag was a real surprise for me. His Test contributions have been invaluable. My own respect for him has increased.
Ananth
]]

• GreeneTolstoy on March 16, 2014, 14:52 GMT

Hi, just discovered your blog. Your different view of stats, and exposure of little known or forgotten cricketing performers through thoughtful and well-written articles is fantastic to read. Agree or not with your interpretations, your blogs spark thought (and memories of innings past) and surely bring cricketing fans together, whatever their views. Bravo!!
[[
Thank you. Please have a look at the previous articles, some of which are anecdotal.
Ananth
]]

• Winsome on March 16, 2014, 14:48 GMT

I'm not a stats wonk but this is really interesting. I've always disliked Yallop but there he is propping up more tables than AB which does suprise me. No surprise to see Sunny there, he had a will like iron. Lara was one of my favourite batsmen to watch and sat so far above his teammates that it's no surprise to see him riding high.

• BigGeorgeMehemood on March 16, 2014, 14:33 GMT

[[
I will publish negative comments only if these have some basis. Nonsense statements will not be published. However I am publishing your comment sans your input just to show that I read every comment and take all seriously.
Ananth
]]

• rizwan1981 on March 16, 2014, 13:18 GMT

An interesting comment on Tendulkar - Wonder if greats like Bradman , Viv Richards , Greg Chapple , Lara et al were as circumspect as Sachin

''But here we are now, knowing that there were times when the great Tendulkar actually wanted to avoid facing a bowler. "He didn't mind telling me if he didn't fancy a certain bowler, leading up to stumps on any given day," says Rahul Dravid, his partner in innumerable partnerships. "Sachin came over," recalls Sourav Ganguly, his teammate on the tour of Australia in 2003-04, "and said to me that he really didn't want to bat that eveningâ€¦ I said, yeah, not to worry, I'll go."

[[
When there are hornet's nests there, the temptation is to stir those !!!
Ananth
]]

• on March 16, 2014, 9:53 GMT

Bring Andy Flower in the loop & he will top rank all your HSI scales
[[
He is there in Table no 3, in 14th position. You have not checked the tables properly.
Ananth
]]

• on March 16, 2014, 9:12 GMT

Stop taking inclined view from 3rd slip take straight view from Umpire's or keeper's position.................Think over it

• on March 16, 2014, 9:10 GMT

LARA's 400 was in tame draw & so was his 375. Lara couldn't win a single test once Ambrose & Walsh retired. Try to understand that no matter how good a batsman is, his innings is only as much match wining as his own team's bowling. If bowlers earn manageable totals like what WI bowlers always did till 2003 & Paki bowlers always do even on placid wickets, any mediocre inns is sufficient to win games

I totally agree with Murali's opinion that Lara is the finest player of spin & so he scored 700 runs in 6 inns in alien spinning tracks of SL vs magician Murali but what was the outcome WI lost series 3 nil.

India always have to declare early & score briskly to give cushion of extra time to its pathetic bowlers to take opposition's 2nd inns wickets. Besides 250+ innings is a waste as it usually results in a draw, bcz anything over 500 team total in tests is excess.

Being an Indian blessed with world's finest batting line up u always take your batsmen for granted.

• on March 16, 2014, 8:58 GMT

Your HSI is flawed ......As a super batsman in the company of super batsmen but having terrible bowling support doesn't get any recognition on your HSI scale- An example would be a super batsman alongside other super batsmen score well over par total on a tough batting surface yet team loses bcz pathetic bowlers leaking all those runs..............Also an avg batsman in the company of poor batsmen but with exceptionally good bowling support earns exceptionally high HSI - An example would be his poor batting team scores below par total with his midiocre (yet superior to other team mates) contribution but superb bowling support wins the game.That is the case mostly with Paki batsmen & with WI batsmen before 2003.

You will argue that if it is high scoring game from both sides then pitch must be easyâ€¦â€¦OKâ€¦Why is it that wherever India plays avg scores in all inns r 50 -100 runs above par totals of same grounds. Even on Indian grounds non-Indian games on avg produce 150 less runs.

• on March 16, 2014, 8:58 GMT

Can you take into account hsi, average, strike rate, number of innings per 100and your other various past analysis, give weightage to all parameters as per your judgement and base upon the resultant rank the players? I think it will be fun and also if we consider all possible patameters it will be more accurate ranking of players. I am sure using this method as well Bradman will come on top. The 2nd spot will be intersting one...my guess Lara or Headley.
[[
In such an analysi, HSI average will be one of a dozen measures. So let not bring in that and open up unnecessary debates.
Ananth
]]

• prashant1 on March 16, 2014, 8:46 GMT

Venkatb: Comments like yours sometimes bewilder one. The "Emperor" has thousands of more runs and Hundreds over many more years ,against all opposition,in all conditions and all formats at a similar of better avg. than his contemporaries. That's a hell of lot of "clothing".

The PWC "ratings" you mention have numerous "limitations" and constraints - elementary among them being that it is essentially a cumulative ranking system. Players with a longish,poor start to their careers will always have this ballast to their rankings. As compared to a player with a shorter career with a better start. That ,of course, is just one of the points. There are numerous others.

Analysis such as the PWC "rankings" put Lara and Tendulkar outside the Top 20. This analysis is also essentially - well just another analysis. As the author mentions its not a rating. Ofcourse, you may treat it as such.

Rating wise- unfortunately,once the dust has settled it is quite difficult to dislodge the "Emperor".

• prashant1 on March 16, 2014, 8:37 GMT

4) Re. incompetent batsman this is also highlighted in the HSI match of Lara's where he scored 221 and 130, the SL team may be said to have essentially batted once and put up a score of 627/9. Clearly the pitch was as dead as dodo. The batsmen in the WI team other than Lara may be termed simply incompetent. All said the analysis comes across as yet another attempted Lara pump job by the author.
[[
Thank you for the compliment. There are enough (and more) Tendulkar pump jobs (in the order of 100:1 to any other player) so allow some counters to be done. It so happened that Bradman and Lara led in most of the tables. That is all. Anyhow you are conveniently ignoring the 7/8 batsmen in the strong teams who adorn the top-12 or so. And why do you Indian supporters not give Gavaskar his due. Why is it Tendulkar and no one else.
If the 627 for 9 made the pitch dead as a dodo, so you can conveniently down-grade Lara's contributions, then how is it that when Australia scored 659 for 4, 604 for 7 and England scored 710 for 7 and 591 for 6 and 544, these pitches were not declared as such. The constant refrain during those two tours was that the pitches were seamer-friendly and even green tops in some cases. So there are different rules.
Ananth
]]

• prashant1 on March 16, 2014, 8:37 GMT

1) The author may not want to hear "weak team". However, specifically in Lara's case, that's essentially all it amounts to. 2) Implying that the analysis has validity because some other great batsmen also appear in the list is false logic. If you apply Occam's' razor and use even the simplest of methodologies such as averages you would for the most part come up with a list of other batsmen who are among the "the greatest of all time" . 3) A period analysis would also shed some more light. It would probably show Lara's figures mostly derived from the period 2003-06. Re. this several commentators made comments in your SRT analysis about how you should have broken up SRTs career to include the specific period 2003-07. You replied to the effect that "everybody knows about what happened from 2003-07". Well, if "everybody knows" then it should have been a part of any "objective" analysis.

• on March 16, 2014, 3:41 GMT

According to this This is My Ranking all time greats

1.Bradman 2.Lara 3.Sangakkara 4.Hammond 5.Gavaskar 6.Jayawardene NO Tendulkar here son he cannot be ranked!

• on March 16, 2014, 2:47 GMT

[[
If you do not maintain the required standards of this corner of Cordon blogspace and indulge in abuses, your comments have an "ice ball in hell" chance of getting published. Make your comments, not necessary that these should agree with my conclusions, in an acceptable non-abusive manner. Else I suggest stay out.
Ananth
]]

• on March 16, 2014, 1:57 GMT

I know you are making this stats now because SRT is retired and you want to cash in on his name . Fine do it. But remember that comparing 50 test matches to 200 test matches make no sense. I know Bradman and Lara were far better batsmen than SRT but for that facts please check who has more centuries, more runs in both Test and ODI today and those stats do not lie. Also SRT is greatest cricketer ever and may not be greatest batsman.

• Venkatb on March 16, 2014, 1:57 GMT

[[
There is no ranking here. That is the first thing you should understand. These are tables based on HSI, a new measure. Why do people always take these to be ranking tables. A proper reading of the article would help.
It is mentioned in the article that Bradman is included in all the tables whether he meets the cut-off or not.
The problem, I am not referring to you, is that if there is a Batting Average table and Tendulkar is ranked 16th, people get upset and call me unpublishable names. But that placement is fact. One guy wrote to me a few years back that for a Batting Average table, he would have a cut-off of 10000 runs. And tried to justify the same. Another one said we should have a strict cut-off of 7500 runs. At one stroke, he eliminated Bradman, Hammond, Hutton, Barrington, Sutcliffe, Weekes and Hobbs. I admire the resourcefulness of the guy, though.
The fact is that this is a simple table, based on average HSI values. That is all. If people want to draw more from it, it is their problem, not mine. It is not a rating table.
Ananth
]]

• Rally_Windies on March 15, 2014, 20:27 GMT

according to Viv Richards and all the West Indians up the Islands..

Lara was not a good batsman , and useless !

and those are the Islanders who are now in charge of WICB .....

• on March 15, 2014, 17:04 GMT

these statistics shows clearly that lara , bradman , sangakara , m.yusuf, hanif mohammad and gavaskar were much bigger batsmen than sachin.....

• Insightful2013 on March 15, 2014, 17:00 GMT

I commend you on you exhaustive research and thank you for the article, but agree with what Pushkar Kale said. Great analogy by the way! Lara has to be the best. I find many things wrong with his batting, yet, he has a 375, a 400 and a 501. Even more staggering, having lost the 375, he went out and re-achieved it. This is a staggering achievement! I know of no other sporting achievement that matches this. Of all the batsmen, in a 7 billion population? world, over 100 years plus of cricket, he, Lara has both the highest test and first class scores. It's that 400 that blows me away and the re-taking of it!

• jw76 on March 15, 2014, 16:30 GMT

Very interesting - but the qualification of 3000 runs does leave out many giants of the past (Graeme Pollock, Headley, Macartney, etc.) who didn't have the chance to reach 3000.
[[
Within a day I will post the values for a few of these greats. The truth is that I wanted a decent number of innings to have a meaningful average.
Ananth
]]

• TestNut on March 15, 2014, 14:14 GMT

Outstanding article, Ananth! Almost the perfect thing to while away a weekend. Needed a good Test match fix after the brilliant Oz-Saffers series.
[[
Thank you, Srikanth. Unfortunately there is a long break in Test matches. We will have a surfeit of the instant variety: the first one tolerable because it is an international event and the second one intolerable for many reasons I have outlined in my response to the last article.
Ananth
]]

• on March 15, 2014, 13:41 GMT

"Statistics are like a Bikini bathing suit. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital".so we have to look this in different manner.we cannot compare Bradman,Gavaskar and Sachin at all because they played in different time periods.When Bradman played all rules,playing style are far far different from Today's cricket.As my opinion All are great in their time.so,we should look them in course of time.

• on March 15, 2014, 9:34 GMT

Is it possible for an extremely good batsman to look mediocre according to HSI because his teammates were not so bad comparatively. Eg. Ponting, Hayden, Devilliers, Kallis, Smith. These People hardly ever came up in the analysis but they are damm good batsman who have played extremely good innings but they were accompanied by people of similar capability and consistency.

Just to compare, lets say Sangakkara/Lara and Ponting are equally good batsmen but Ponting has greats alongside him whereas Sanga had only Mahela, and if Mahela fails and sanga/lara score like they always do, they are considered comparatively better off than the other.

Isn't this turning into a collapse analysis where there has been a savior batsman? or a Savior Batsman throughout his career, just because he was a part of a mediocre team? which can be chance.

Bradman is an exception in all cases..
[[
No one is turning anyone to great or poor. This is one of the many measures, that is all. Also look up at the batsmen table. Look at the greats who are placed at the top there. So this measure is not there just to push mediocre players higher or vice versa.
Ananth
]]

• on March 15, 2014, 9:34 GMT

Is it possible for an extremely good batsman to look mediocre according to HSI because his teammates were not so bad comparatively. Eg. Ponting, Hayden, Devilliers, Kallis, Smith. These People hardly ever came up in the analysis but they are damm good batsman who have played extremely good innings but they were accompanied by people of similar capability and consistency.

Just to compare, lets say Sangakkara/Lara and Ponting are equally good batsmen but Ponting has greats alongside him whereas Sanga had only Mahela, and if Mahela fails and sanga/lara score like they always do, they are considered comparatively better off than the other.

Isn't this turning into a collapse analysis where there has been a savior batsman? or a Savior Batsman throughout his career, just because he was a part of a mediocre team? which can be chance.

Bradman is an exception in all cases..
[[
No one is turning anyone to great or poor. This is one of the many measures, that is all. Also look up at the batsmen table. Look at the greats who are placed at the top there. So this measure is not there just to push mediocre players higher or vice versa.
Ananth
]]

• on March 15, 2014, 13:41 GMT

"Statistics are like a Bikini bathing suit. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital".so we have to look this in different manner.we cannot compare Bradman,Gavaskar and Sachin at all because they played in different time periods.When Bradman played all rules,playing style are far far different from Today's cricket.As my opinion All are great in their time.so,we should look them in course of time.

• TestNut on March 15, 2014, 14:14 GMT

Outstanding article, Ananth! Almost the perfect thing to while away a weekend. Needed a good Test match fix after the brilliant Oz-Saffers series.
[[
Thank you, Srikanth. Unfortunately there is a long break in Test matches. We will have a surfeit of the instant variety: the first one tolerable because it is an international event and the second one intolerable for many reasons I have outlined in my response to the last article.
Ananth
]]

• jw76 on March 15, 2014, 16:30 GMT

Very interesting - but the qualification of 3000 runs does leave out many giants of the past (Graeme Pollock, Headley, Macartney, etc.) who didn't have the chance to reach 3000.
[[
Within a day I will post the values for a few of these greats. The truth is that I wanted a decent number of innings to have a meaningful average.
Ananth
]]

• Insightful2013 on March 15, 2014, 17:00 GMT

I commend you on you exhaustive research and thank you for the article, but agree with what Pushkar Kale said. Great analogy by the way! Lara has to be the best. I find many things wrong with his batting, yet, he has a 375, a 400 and a 501. Even more staggering, having lost the 375, he went out and re-achieved it. This is a staggering achievement! I know of no other sporting achievement that matches this. Of all the batsmen, in a 7 billion population? world, over 100 years plus of cricket, he, Lara has both the highest test and first class scores. It's that 400 that blows me away and the re-taking of it!

• on March 15, 2014, 17:04 GMT

these statistics shows clearly that lara , bradman , sangakara , m.yusuf, hanif mohammad and gavaskar were much bigger batsmen than sachin.....

• Rally_Windies on March 15, 2014, 20:27 GMT

according to Viv Richards and all the West Indians up the Islands..

Lara was not a good batsman , and useless !

and those are the Islanders who are now in charge of WICB .....

• Venkatb on March 16, 2014, 1:57 GMT

[[
There is no ranking here. That is the first thing you should understand. These are tables based on HSI, a new measure. Why do people always take these to be ranking tables. A proper reading of the article would help.
It is mentioned in the article that Bradman is included in all the tables whether he meets the cut-off or not.
The problem, I am not referring to you, is that if there is a Batting Average table and Tendulkar is ranked 16th, people get upset and call me unpublishable names. But that placement is fact. One guy wrote to me a few years back that for a Batting Average table, he would have a cut-off of 10000 runs. And tried to justify the same. Another one said we should have a strict cut-off of 7500 runs. At one stroke, he eliminated Bradman, Hammond, Hutton, Barrington, Sutcliffe, Weekes and Hobbs. I admire the resourcefulness of the guy, though.
The fact is that this is a simple table, based on average HSI values. That is all. If people want to draw more from it, it is their problem, not mine. It is not a rating table.
Ananth
]]

• on March 16, 2014, 1:57 GMT

I know you are making this stats now because SRT is retired and you want to cash in on his name . Fine do it. But remember that comparing 50 test matches to 200 test matches make no sense. I know Bradman and Lara were far better batsmen than SRT but for that facts please check who has more centuries, more runs in both Test and ODI today and those stats do not lie. Also SRT is greatest cricketer ever and may not be greatest batsman.

• on March 16, 2014, 2:47 GMT

[[
If you do not maintain the required standards of this corner of Cordon blogspace and indulge in abuses, your comments have an "ice ball in hell" chance of getting published. Make your comments, not necessary that these should agree with my conclusions, in an acceptable non-abusive manner. Else I suggest stay out.
Ananth
]]