April 25, 2002

Port of Spain's penchant for records

Staff Reporter

Sourav Ganguly
© CricInfo
India have a habit, for some reason, of choosing Port of Spain as the ground to set many of their records, and Sourav Ganguly's team continued that tradition this time around. The Queen's Park Oval saw two individuals garner two important records, making for an unusually statistics-heavy Test.

Ganguly himself was one of those individuals, notching up his fourth Test win overseas to pass MAK Pataudi and Bishan Singh Bedi for most victories abroad. Bedi and Ganguly have comparable records; they registered their away wins in 22 and 20 Tests respectively. Pataudi, however, posted his wins even though he was skipper for a whopping 40 Tests.

Interestingly enough, the three captains under discussions are also the only three captains to win a Test in the Caribbean. Further, all three wins came at Port of Spain.

Sachin Tendulkar
© CricInfo
In passing, the comparison of each captain's performance in his away wins proves extremely flattering to Ganguly. The current Indian skipper averages 76.25 in those four Tests; Pataudi, in contrast, averages a measly 24.40, while Bedi took 16 wickets in the three Tests.

The other notable statistic from Port of Spain, of course, was Sachin Tendulkar drawing level with Don Bradman. While 29 centuries is still an achievement, and nothing should detract from Tendulkar's performances thus far, the difference in speed is staggering enough to further burnish the glow on the Don's halo.

Tendulkar took 93 matches and 148 innings for his centuries - a hundred every 5.1 innings. Tendulkar's Mumbai predecessor, Sunil Gavaskar, played 95 matches and 166 innings - a hundred every 5.72 innings. Bradman played 52 Tests and 80 innings - a hundred every 2.76 innings, or almost twice as often as Tendulkar. So if one thinks Tendulkar prolific, the imagination boggles further at Bradman.

One reason for Bradman's superior record could have been his rate of conversion. He finished his career with 29 hundreds but only 13 fifties. Tendulkar has 31 half-centuries to his 29 fifties. Gavaskar had made 35 fifties when he made his 29th century.

Statistics from Rajneesh Gupta