Sachin Tendulkar's Test career in numbers November 18, 2013

At home across the world

Sachin Tendulkar's Test stats reflect consistency over a staggeringly long period, with the highlight being his numbers outside the subcontinent
133

Fifteen thousand nine hundred and twenty-one. That's the new benchmark for longevity, consistency and durability that all Test batsmen will be measured against, for that's the final tally of Test runs that Sachin Tendulkar has finished with, in a 24-year journey that has combined flair and natural talent with relentless hard work and single-minded focus. Without either attribute he wouldn't have been able to succeed as much, and as consistently, as he did over an incredibly long period of time.

Apart from the sheer length of his career, what stands out is his consistency, both over different phases of his career, and in different conditions against different opposition. Against no team did he average less than 42 - the lowest averages were against Pakistan (42.28) and South Africa (42.46).

Even more impressively, he averaged at least 40 in every country he played in, unlike some of the other top batsmen who've had problems in at least one country. (Brian Lara averaged less than 40 in New Zealand and India, Jacques Kallis in England and Sri Lanka, Ricky Ponting in India, Inzamam-ul-Haq in Australia and South Africa, and Rahul Dravid in South Africa and Sri Lanka.) Tendulkar's lowest average, quite surprisingly, was in Zimbabwe - 40 in seven innings; it was also the only country where he didn't score a Test century. (Click here for Tendulkar's career summary as a Test batsman.)

What also stood out was how well he did outside the subcontinent: he averaged more than 50 in Australia and England, 49.52 in New Zealand, and 46.44 in South Africa, countries where subcontinent batsmen have often struggled.

Tendulkar's consistency also shines through when his career is split into blocks of 50 Tests. The lowest he averaged in one of those four blocks was 46.91, between Tests 101 and 150, a period during which he was also beset by tennis-elbow problems. Apart from that spell, his least productive period was the last couple of years, when his average dropped to 27.52 from 15 Tests, with no hundreds in 24 innings. At the end of 2011, Tendulkar averaged 56, but because of that lean spell, he finished at 53.78 (which is still outstanding by any standards). (Click here for his cumulative career average in Tests.)

Tendulkar's Test career, in blocks of 50 Tests
  Period Runs Average 100s/ 50s
First 50 Tests Nov 1989-Mar 1997 3438 49.82 11/ 16
51-100 Tests Mar 1997-Sep 2002 4967 65.35 19/ 18
101-150 Tests Oct 2002-Aug 2008 3472 46.91 9/ 15
151-200 Tests Aug 2008-Nov 2013 4044 52.51 12/ 19
Career Nov 1989-Nov 2013 15,921 53.78 51/ 68

His best phase

In 1992, Tendulkar scored three hundreds, and all of them were masterpieces - 148 not out in Sydney, 114 in Perth, and 111 in Johannesburg. He was ready for bigger things, but he still finished with a calendar-year average of 41.90, because in the remaining eight innings that year he totalled 46 runs - his scores in those innings read 6,17,5,0,11,1,6,0 - clearly, he needed to become more consistent.

Being a quick learner, Tendulkar grasped that lesson fast, and over the next ten-year period he was the most prolific batsman in world cricket. That was also the time when most opposition teams had a couple of world-class fast bowlers in their ranks: the overall batting average in those ten years was 29.59; in the next 11-year period it went up to 32.67.

For Tendulkar, though, that period between 1993 and 2002 was when he was head and shoulders above all other batsmen in world cricket. He averaged 62.30 from 85 Tests; the next-best, Steve Waugh, averaged 55.07. His masterpieces during that period included 122 at Edgbaston in 1996, 169 in Cape Town the following year, 113 in Wellington in 1998, 136 against Pakistan in Chennai in 1999, 116 against Australia in Melbourne later that year, and 155 in Bloemfontein in 2001. That India ended up losing all six of those matches was a reflection of the rest of the batsmen, and the Indian bowling attack, that Tendulkar had to play with and carry along. Not all his hundreds were in defeats, though: he also scored nine in wins during that period, most famously conquering Shane Warne when scoring an unbeaten 155 in the second innings in Chennai in 1998.

Highest averages in Tests between Jan 1993 and Dec 2002 (Qual: 3000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 85 7726 62.30 27/ 31
Steve Waugh 109 7765 55.07 25/ 33
Rahul Dravid 69 5614 53.46 14/ 28
Matthew Hayden 37 3079 53.08 12/ 10
Andy Flower 60 4630 52.02 12/ 25
Jacques Kallis 65 4455 50.62 11/ 25
Brian Lara 86 7328 50.53 18/ 34
Inzamam-ul-Haq 80 6056 50.46 17/ 31
Ricky Ponting 63 4246 48.80 14/ 17
Mohammad Yousuf 42 3099 48.42 10/ 16

Pace and bounce? No problem

What stood out, and differentiated him from other Indian batsmen during that period, was the way he performed outside the subcontinent. The period from his debut to the end of 2001 was one where he had to shoulder the bulk of the run-scoring burden on tours; the golden period for Dravid was to start from 2002. The difference between him and the other batsmen was especially glaring in Australia and South Africa, because Dravid and Sourav Ganguly did score runs in England and New Zealand. Between 1991 and 2001, Tendulkar scored six centuries in 17 Tests in Australia and South Africa; all the other Indian batsmen put together managed only eight. In fact, of the first 21 Tests Tendulkar played, only one was at home, while 16 were outside the subcontinent (including one in Zimbabwe). Tendulkar had little experience of these conditions, but he coped quite well.

The table below shows how badly the other Indian batsmen struggled in those conditions between 1991 and 2001. Mohammad Azharuddin scored only 472 runs in 21 innings despite getting two hundreds - 14 times in those 21 innings he was dismissed for 15 or fewer; Sanjay Manjrekar's highest in 16 innings on those tours was 46; Dilip Vengsarkar totalled 158 from 9 innings, while VVS Laxman scored 244 from 11, excluding that memorable 167 in Sydney. Amid such batting failures, Tendulkar was a shining exception: in four of those five series, he averaged more than 40. Overall in those 17 Tests, he scored 19% of the total runs that were scored by all the Indian batsmen.

Indian batsmen in Australia and South Africa, between 1991 and 2001
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 17 1282 44.20 6/ 3
Mohammad Azharuddin 12 472 22.47 2/ 1
Rahul Dravid 8 472 31.46 1/ 2
Sourav Ganguly 8 469 31.26 0/ 3
VVS Laxman 7 411 41.10 1/ 1
Kapil Dev 9 367 26.21 1/ 1
Ravi Shastri 6 359 35.90 1/ 0
Manoj Prabhakar 9 336 24.00 0/ 3
Sanjay Manjrekar 9 313 22.35 0/ 0
Pravin Amre 4 169 33.80 1/ 0
Dilip Vengsarkar 5 158 17.55 0/ 2

The table below lists his percentage contribution to the total bat runs (excluding extras) that the team scored. It's clear that from 2002 his burden was considerably reduced. During Tendulkar's revival between 2009 and 2011 the percentage contribution went up to 16.87%, but in the last two years (15 Tests) it dropped to 8.75%.

Tendulkar's contribution to the team
Period Tendulkar's runs Team runs Percentage
Till Dec 1992 1085 9122 11.89
Jan 1993 to Dec 2001 6334 32,048 19.76
Jan '93 to Dec '01, in Aus, SA, NZ, Eng, WI 1783 8368 21.31
Jan 2002 onwards 8502 59,863 14.20
Overall 15,921 101,033 15.76

The rock at No.4

Of the 329 innings Tendulkar played in his Test career, 275 were at the No. 4 position. For the first 22 innings of his Test career Tendulkar batted at No. 6 or 7, but the change happened after his unbeaten 148 against Australia in Sydney in 1992. In the second innings of the next Test, in Adelaide, Tendulkar moved up to No. 4 - above Vengsarkar and Azharuddin - as India looked to chase a stiff fourth-innings target of 372. He scored only 17 in that innings (Azharuddin scored a century as India lost by 38 runs), but the next game was in Perth, and Tendulkar's stunning 114 - in only his second innings at No.4 - settled matters. From the time he first batted at No. 4, only 29 times did he deviate from that position, mostly because of a nightwatchman coming in at No. 3 or 4.

At No. 4, he finished with 13,492 runs, 4574 more than the next-highest. Kallis and Greg Chappell have better averages, but it's unlikely any batsman will touch his aggregate at that position.

Highest run-getters at No.4 in Tests
Batsman Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 275 13,492 54.40 44/ 58
Jacques Kallis 168 8918 61.93 34/ 36
Mahela Jayawardene 177 8656 52.46 28/ 30
Brian Lara 148 7535 51.25 24/ 31
Javed Miandad 140 6925 54.10 19/ 31
Mark Waugh 170 6662 42.43 16/ 39
Kevin Pietersen 130 6199 49.59 19/ 25
Gundappa Viswanath 124 5081 43.05 12/ 31
Inzamam-ul-Haq 98 4867 52.90 15/ 21
Martin Crowe 106 4841 49.39 16/ 16
Aravinda de Silva 113 4543 44.10 15/ 16
Greg Chappell 86 4316 59.12 15/ 19

The table below lists Tendulkar's stats at No. 4 sorted by the team scores at which he came in to bat. Like you'd expect of any batsman, he was more prolific when the top three batsmen had given the team a good start: when he came in with the score reading 100 or more for the loss of two wickets, Tendulkar averaged 70.49, and scored 21 centuries from 97 such innings.

When he came in to bat very early - before India had scored 20 - Tendulkar's average dropped to 40.53. However, some of his most memorable innings came in such situations: when he scored 122 at Edgbaston against England in 1996, he came in at 17 for 2, and scored 122 out of a team total of 219. (The second-highest score in the innings was 18.) His 136 against Pakistan in Chennai came from an entry score of 6 for 2, while the Boxing Day 116 started from 11 for 2.

But it's also true that he was dismissed cheaply fairly often when he came in early: of the 37 times he came in at No. 4 before the total had reached 20, 15 times he was dismissed for single-digit scores.

However, his average went up to almost 51 when he came with the score between 20 and 49. Two of his double-centuries - 248 not out against Bangladesh and 214 against Australia - came from these entry scores, as did the 155 in Bloemfontein (2001) and the 146 in Cape Town (2011).

Tendulkar at No. 4 by point-of-entry scores
Score Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Less than 20 37 1459 40.53 5/ 5
21 to 49 68 3364 50.97 9/ 15
50-75 42 1409 40.26 4/ 8
76-99 31 1409 50.32 5/ 8
100-149 50 2640 61.39 9/ 9
150 and above 47 3211 80.28 12/ 13

At his best against the best

One of the most impressive aspects of Tendulkar's career is his record against the best team of his generation. Towards the last few years of his career Australia were clearly not the best team around, but for nearly two decades they set the standard, and Tendulkar was pretty impressive against them in almost every series. In 39 Tests against them Tendulkar averaged 55, with 11 centuries in 74 innings. This, despite averaging only 34.21 in his last 15 innings against them. In Australia, he averaged 53.20 from 20 Tests, with six centuries. Only Jack Hobbs, who made 12 hundreds from 41 matches, has scored more centuries against Australia than Tendulkar.

Between 1990 and 2008, no batsman who played at least 20 innings against them averaged more than Tendulkar's 56.08. In 30 innings in Australia during this period, Tendulkar averaged 58.53. With a 12 innings cut-off, only Virender Sehwag (59.50) averaged more. In 35 innings that Lara played in Australia over the same period, he averaged 41.97.

Highest batting averages v Aus between 1990 and 2008 (Qual: 20 inngs)
Batsman Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Sachin Tendulkar 55 2748 56.08 10/ 11
VVS Laxman 44 2204 55.10 6/ 10
Kevin Pietersen 20 963 53.50 2/ 6
Virender Sehwag 30 1483 51.13 3/ 7
Brian Lara 58 2856 51.00 9/ 11
Ijaz Ahmed 20 913 50.72 5/ 1
Richie Richardson 24 1084 49.27 4/ 4
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 29 1210 48.40 4/ 7
Michael Vaughan 20 959 47.95 4/ 1
Graham Thorpe 31 1235 45.74 3/ 8

The fourth-innings chink

The one aspect of his Test batting which was underwhelming was his performances in the fourth innings. He still holds the record for most runs in this aspect as well, but this one is unlikely to remain with him for too long: his aggregate of 1625 is only 50 more than the second-best, and 92 more than the best among active players (Graeme Smith's 1533). Tendulkar scored only 10.2% of his total runs in the fourth innings, compared to 17% for Smith.

Tendulkar's fourth-innings average of 36.93 is disappointing too: among the 21 other batsmen who've scored 1000-plus fourth-innings runs, 18 have a better average. One of them who doesn't, though, is Brian Lara: his 1440 runs in the last innings came at an average of 35.12. And then there's also the curious case of Steve Waugh, who scored only 613 fourth-innings runs at an average of 25.54.

More Tendulkar stats

  • His career span of 24 years and a day is the fifth-longest in Test history.

  • Tendulkar's first-class tally of 50,192 ranks 16th in the all-time list. Tendulkar is the third non-England player - after Gordon Greenidge and Viv Richards - to enter the 50,000-first-class-runs club.

  • Six times Tendulkar scored 1000 or more Test runs in a calendar year, the most by any batsman.

  • Tendulkar scored 1000 or more Test runs against seven different opposition teams. Dravid is the only other batsman to achieve this feat.

  • Tendulkar is the youngest among Indian batsman to score a Test century (and the third-youngest overall). Had he scored a century in his last Test innings, he would have been the oldest Indian Test centurion as well.

  • With Dravid, Tendulkar put together 6920 partnership runs, the most by any pair. The 20 century stands between them is also a record.

  • In his entire Test career, Tendulkar was involved in 86 century stands, with 26 different partners. Only Dravid has more century partnerships in Tests.

  • Tendulkar was dismissed in the nineties ten times in Tests, the most for any batsman.

  • Six players won more Man-of-the-Match awards than Tendulkar. His 14, though, is the best by an Indian; Dravid's next on 11.

    With inputs from Shiva Jayaraman.

    S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • Nampally on November 18, 2013, 20:23 GMT

      A great breakdown of Sachin's career by age, by #4 position & by Matches Vs. the Aussies. It reflects his consistency however your slice it. In fact his 35 to 40 year average of 52 is only second to 25 to 30 age peak average of 65! So all the cries for his retirement during the last 5 years of his life were premature. His farewell 74 in the final test was a peach of an innings! This shows the greatness of SRT to pull out the best when he is really wants it. His average against the OZ (56), shows that he was able to annul McGrath & Warne effectively. Sachin was a great batsman who was at ease with all sorts of bowling & Bowlers. Whilst Bradman got his runs against just one team, England -at home & in England, Tendulkar got his runs in more than 10 Nations playing 200 tests in 24 years. It is feat in Physical endurance, not forgetting his 463 ODI's - a total of over 22500 runs.A milestone in fitness & record setting which will be hard to emulate just like Queen Elizabeth II's long Reign!

    • ravi-1967 on November 22, 2013, 8:09 GMT

      Checked a few more things as far as his centuries are concerned

      20 out of his 51 centuries resulted in a Win for India, 20 in Draws and 11 in Losses. I am sure if he failed some of the draws would have been losses for the team.

      36 out of his 51 (ie 70.5 %) centuries came against the below countries

      Australia, England, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka which were strong during his time

      Numbers speak volume of the man.

    • Karthi_2K11 on November 21, 2013, 9:25 GMT

      It is easy to be picky about SRT's record, as he is the one most exposed, with a greater attack surface or footprint, as he has played more Test Cricket than any of the other players in any era. In fact, he has played 27 more Test matches than all of the other top five Test players combined, of all eras ! (Wilfred Rhodes (24), Brian Close (26), Frank Woolley (25), George Headley (24), & John Traicos (23)). To say that SRT only performed well when the others in the team did too, & not always, when the team was in dire straits, is to disregard the statistical facts. Overall, he contributed approximately 16 % of the team total in any total, according to S. Rajesh. That is nearly a sixth of any total. Considering that India usually went in with 6 batters (the 2 openers & the "Fabulous Four" (Dravid, SRT, Ganguly, & Laxman)), he justified his place in the team, by contributing his share. Even his 4th inning "chink in the armour" is better than the great Lara's record, according to S. Rajesh

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 21, 2013, 4:13 GMT

      Everyone .. why even debate ... Four of the greatest cricketers have put SRT ahead or on par with them. AND I AM PRETTY SURE YOU ALL AGREE WE ARE ALL MERE MORTALS BEFORE THEM

      Don Bradman: "I was struck by his technique and told my wife that he is playing much the same as I used to play, there is a similarity between the two... his compactness,technique,stroke production it all seemed to gel."

      ""If there's any accolade I can place on him it's that, although everybody has their opinion about who is the best, but Sachin Tendulkar has definitely had the best cricket career out of any cricketer that I have known." - Lara

      "I didn't see Don but to me, in all my years associated with the game, I haven't seen a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar" said Viv Richards "If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet." - Viv Richards

      Australian spin legend Shane Warne: "Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without a doubt -- daylight second, Brian Lara third"

    • on November 20, 2013, 9:30 GMT

      CHris Kay - In my humble opinion the giants of the past two decades or so were Tendulkar,Lara,Kallis,Ponting and Dravid. I would put Tendulkar and Lara a shade above the rest because they were the best in the 1990s when conditions were definitely tougher as were bowlers. And then Tendulkar again a shade above Lara because of his lack of weaknesses against any team in any conditions...This is NOT to denigrate any of the other greats in any way at all. They are all phenomenal cricketers. Just my two bits...

    • OttawaRocks on November 20, 2013, 9:00 GMT

      @ RobertEddings: I remember Jon Davison of Canada having a very fast century against the WIndies in WC 2003. The Windies bowling attack was pretty hilarious as well.

    • on November 20, 2013, 8:58 GMT

      Another critical point to note - in the 1990s ,for batsmen who batted right through the decade just 3 ( yes, THREE) avg. 50+. Thus revealing of the batting conditons and bowlers then. By contrast in the 2000s onwards several Dozen batsmen avg. 50+. Till 2000 and avg. of 50+ was a preserve of the "Great"... Now, it has almost come into the "very good" category.

    • on November 20, 2013, 8:50 GMT

      Chris Kay - But to "level the playing field"- i.e most ppl honestly wouldn't put Sangakarra in with the likes of Tendulkar, lara etc. My fave stat is the MINUS minnows one in the 1990s, where Tendulkar avg. 59. For eg. from 2003-07 Tendulkar avg.39 minus minnows with some 50 batsmen avg more than him. When adding minnows his avg. looked somewhat respectable.

    • on November 20, 2013, 8:01 GMT

      Here's an even better stat . From Jan 1990 to Jan 2003 ( THIRTEEN years) Tendulkar avg. 58.5. The other modern day greats - Dravid 53.5, Waugh- 51.2 , Kallis 51.6, Lara -49.5 , Inzamam - 49, Ponting - 48.8. As mentioned, It is Tendulkar's subsequent injuries and the never-before-seen run glut from 2003-07 that allowed others to catch up on 13 yrs of outperformance by the Maestro.

    • Ankitsuperking on November 20, 2013, 7:56 GMT

      Sachin's first five series were an away tour and that included Pak, NZ, England, Aus and SA..A player who was 16 even got hit, yet he continued and was very impressive in all these tours. For someone who has hardly played such kind of attack and in such alien condition,this was very special and even world realized this is a making of great batsman... Than he really dominated in 90's where he was very destructive yet consistent all across the world and we should not forget the quality of attack he faced and burden of expectation he carried...Just to add to all the stats given above: Sachin scored 52 international hundreds between 1996 and 2002.. Who else can match this consistency at the peak of the career against quality attacks..Than came second phase of Sachin's career where because of injury he was not the same batsman as far as flamboyance is concerned but runs were not the issue as he scored quite consistently and in next 10 years as well...

    • Nampally on November 18, 2013, 20:23 GMT

      A great breakdown of Sachin's career by age, by #4 position & by Matches Vs. the Aussies. It reflects his consistency however your slice it. In fact his 35 to 40 year average of 52 is only second to 25 to 30 age peak average of 65! So all the cries for his retirement during the last 5 years of his life were premature. His farewell 74 in the final test was a peach of an innings! This shows the greatness of SRT to pull out the best when he is really wants it. His average against the OZ (56), shows that he was able to annul McGrath & Warne effectively. Sachin was a great batsman who was at ease with all sorts of bowling & Bowlers. Whilst Bradman got his runs against just one team, England -at home & in England, Tendulkar got his runs in more than 10 Nations playing 200 tests in 24 years. It is feat in Physical endurance, not forgetting his 463 ODI's - a total of over 22500 runs.A milestone in fitness & record setting which will be hard to emulate just like Queen Elizabeth II's long Reign!

    • ravi-1967 on November 22, 2013, 8:09 GMT

      Checked a few more things as far as his centuries are concerned

      20 out of his 51 centuries resulted in a Win for India, 20 in Draws and 11 in Losses. I am sure if he failed some of the draws would have been losses for the team.

      36 out of his 51 (ie 70.5 %) centuries came against the below countries

      Australia, England, Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka which were strong during his time

      Numbers speak volume of the man.

    • Karthi_2K11 on November 21, 2013, 9:25 GMT

      It is easy to be picky about SRT's record, as he is the one most exposed, with a greater attack surface or footprint, as he has played more Test Cricket than any of the other players in any era. In fact, he has played 27 more Test matches than all of the other top five Test players combined, of all eras ! (Wilfred Rhodes (24), Brian Close (26), Frank Woolley (25), George Headley (24), & John Traicos (23)). To say that SRT only performed well when the others in the team did too, & not always, when the team was in dire straits, is to disregard the statistical facts. Overall, he contributed approximately 16 % of the team total in any total, according to S. Rajesh. That is nearly a sixth of any total. Considering that India usually went in with 6 batters (the 2 openers & the "Fabulous Four" (Dravid, SRT, Ganguly, & Laxman)), he justified his place in the team, by contributing his share. Even his 4th inning "chink in the armour" is better than the great Lara's record, according to S. Rajesh

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 21, 2013, 4:13 GMT

      Everyone .. why even debate ... Four of the greatest cricketers have put SRT ahead or on par with them. AND I AM PRETTY SURE YOU ALL AGREE WE ARE ALL MERE MORTALS BEFORE THEM

      Don Bradman: "I was struck by his technique and told my wife that he is playing much the same as I used to play, there is a similarity between the two... his compactness,technique,stroke production it all seemed to gel."

      ""If there's any accolade I can place on him it's that, although everybody has their opinion about who is the best, but Sachin Tendulkar has definitely had the best cricket career out of any cricketer that I have known." - Lara

      "I didn't see Don but to me, in all my years associated with the game, I haven't seen a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar" said Viv Richards "If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet." - Viv Richards

      Australian spin legend Shane Warne: "Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without a doubt -- daylight second, Brian Lara third"

    • on November 20, 2013, 9:30 GMT

      CHris Kay - In my humble opinion the giants of the past two decades or so were Tendulkar,Lara,Kallis,Ponting and Dravid. I would put Tendulkar and Lara a shade above the rest because they were the best in the 1990s when conditions were definitely tougher as were bowlers. And then Tendulkar again a shade above Lara because of his lack of weaknesses against any team in any conditions...This is NOT to denigrate any of the other greats in any way at all. They are all phenomenal cricketers. Just my two bits...

    • OttawaRocks on November 20, 2013, 9:00 GMT

      @ RobertEddings: I remember Jon Davison of Canada having a very fast century against the WIndies in WC 2003. The Windies bowling attack was pretty hilarious as well.

    • on November 20, 2013, 8:58 GMT

      Another critical point to note - in the 1990s ,for batsmen who batted right through the decade just 3 ( yes, THREE) avg. 50+. Thus revealing of the batting conditons and bowlers then. By contrast in the 2000s onwards several Dozen batsmen avg. 50+. Till 2000 and avg. of 50+ was a preserve of the "Great"... Now, it has almost come into the "very good" category.

    • on November 20, 2013, 8:50 GMT

      Chris Kay - But to "level the playing field"- i.e most ppl honestly wouldn't put Sangakarra in with the likes of Tendulkar, lara etc. My fave stat is the MINUS minnows one in the 1990s, where Tendulkar avg. 59. For eg. from 2003-07 Tendulkar avg.39 minus minnows with some 50 batsmen avg more than him. When adding minnows his avg. looked somewhat respectable.

    • on November 20, 2013, 8:01 GMT

      Here's an even better stat . From Jan 1990 to Jan 2003 ( THIRTEEN years) Tendulkar avg. 58.5. The other modern day greats - Dravid 53.5, Waugh- 51.2 , Kallis 51.6, Lara -49.5 , Inzamam - 49, Ponting - 48.8. As mentioned, It is Tendulkar's subsequent injuries and the never-before-seen run glut from 2003-07 that allowed others to catch up on 13 yrs of outperformance by the Maestro.

    • Ankitsuperking on November 20, 2013, 7:56 GMT

      Sachin's first five series were an away tour and that included Pak, NZ, England, Aus and SA..A player who was 16 even got hit, yet he continued and was very impressive in all these tours. For someone who has hardly played such kind of attack and in such alien condition,this was very special and even world realized this is a making of great batsman... Than he really dominated in 90's where he was very destructive yet consistent all across the world and we should not forget the quality of attack he faced and burden of expectation he carried...Just to add to all the stats given above: Sachin scored 52 international hundreds between 1996 and 2002.. Who else can match this consistency at the peak of the career against quality attacks..Than came second phase of Sachin's career where because of injury he was not the same batsman as far as flamboyance is concerned but runs were not the issue as he scored quite consistently and in next 10 years as well...

    • on November 20, 2013, 7:46 GMT

      Sangakaras keeping or not is merely a coincidence. i.e correlation not causation. The same may then be said about Gilly,Dhoni et al. Also, Sangakarra is pretty poor on non-subcontinental tracks. Lara too is not so hot in Aus, Eng ,NZ ..the point is that it is possible that in any particular "metric" of your choosing a particular batsman may be ahead of Tendulkar. But when you put it all together i.e "Combined"- any where, any conditions, any bowlers, any format - how on earth can anyone go beyond Tendulkar as first pick ?

    • on November 20, 2013, 7:42 GMT

      Chris Kay- It's not math. It's fact and stat. Why use "probability" ? Look at the facts. The author has a period From Jan 1993 to 2002 where Tendulkar was way above his peers and "next best" for a DECADE. In the 1990s (MINUS minnows) Tendulkar was again way ahead for a DECADE ...Simple ,straightforward stats...

    • on November 20, 2013, 7:30 GMT

      Dem Religion, your math is very confusing. I think in all probability Sangakkara stands apart by 15%, if not more, and you must note that it happened over such a long period. His average increases by as much as 75% when he doesn't keep. That's too big to ignore. The lone apparent supremacy, his longevity, was a case of overstay, if you examine carefully. That Kallis failed in just one series won't suffice to draw unwarranted comparisons.

    • binoynair on November 20, 2013, 7:15 GMT

      Another point... Kallis is just not a batsman hez a good pace bowler too..he can bowl at 140kmph n has been taking wickets consistently... he has 600 odd wickets in international cricket... 24000 runs n 600 wickets... isn't that enough to be a touch above the rest...

    • binoynair on November 20, 2013, 7:08 GMT

      sachin is a great player... no doubt.... but sorry he is not the greatest....Sachin was at his peak till 2004 and then after that for 9 years he was always catching up but could not get to peak again...his records are excellent but not out of the world or extra ordinary....yes he is the best indian player by far without a doubt but not the greatest in the world... currently kallis and sangakara have a better average than Sachinin Tests n both of them have age on their sides too.. n alastair cook if he plays for another 8 years... then nothing is impossible...similarly in ODIs also hez the best player currently but Virat kohli,M.S. Dhoni,Hashim amla,a.b de villiers have an excellent record.... but ya they won't be able to amass 18000 runs coz they were not fortunate enough to start at a young age... So stats don't make a player great...stats can never reveal the greatness of the player...Mountain of Runs just suggest the longevity of the player...

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 20, 2013, 6:25 GMT

      @binoynair: Hope these stats open your eyes and senses. Your argument that SRT is not a match winner is very misleading. Some people when given a bowl of yummy suckers still prefer to keep sucking their own thumb. Go get your facts right.

      Tournament Finals: SRT: Avg 54.54 100s: 6 50s 10 Dravid: Avg 34.71 100s: 1 50s 3 Ponting: Avg 38.42 100s: 2 50s 7 Lara: Avg 28.16 100s: 1 50s 2

      SRT is the leading run getter in 2-World cups 1996 & 2003 Second best in 2011 World cup. --- Man of the match in 2011 WC-SemiFinal without which India would not even reached the Finals.

      Out of 49 ODI hundreds, 33 tons came as match winning efforts - 19 while batting First and 14 came while batting second.

    • on November 20, 2013, 5:47 GMT

      It's possible to say lara had a few better top innings or that he was more "dangerous" on his day due to his unapologetically attacking style.Similar to Sehwag and co. But then the same argument may be made about numerous batsmen - i.e Sehwag, Richards, VVS, Ponting, etc etc may all said to have a few "better" innings. Needless to say, any individual inn. relies much on luck not just skill. For eg. if not for a "taken" catch as opposed to a dropped catch Tendulkar's 136 may rank above Lara's 153...So,even if we assume that numerous batsmen had a few "better" innings....Thereafter - any where, any bowlers, any conditions, any time, any format- it is virtually impossible to look beyond Tendulkar.

    • on November 20, 2013, 5:39 GMT

      Chris Kay- As you mention the Don averages higher compared to the "next best" over 2 decades. Tendulkar (MINUS minnows Ban/Zim) averages 15% better than the "next best" for players who played throughout the 1990s. Tendulkar suffered from serious injuries in the mid 2000s enabling numerous other players to catch up. But over a DECADE he was clearly the best. So- it doesn't matter whether Sangakkara averages X for some innings. What matters is how long he did it for and how much ahead of the "next best" he was. Was Sangakarra,or Lara or anyone 15% above the "next best" for a DECADE ? No chance - it's just Tendulkar and the Don.

    • on November 20, 2013, 5:26 GMT

      Sangakkara averages 69 as specialist batter for a span of 69 matches. Would that mean he's the second best? If not, why? I can't actually name the second best after DB; the list would be trickily long. Lara & Richards have impressed me a bit more than many. Numbers suggest Sobers, Hammond and Sutcliffe, to name a few, were special. Most crucially, biggest and best are entirely different concepts; otherwise Lara's 400 would have been regarded better than his 153. I'd even rate Clarke's 329 above his 400.

    • on November 20, 2013, 4:25 GMT

      lara only shined at home against Warne n Mcgrath... his avg in a Australia is 41... not so great after all... 18 centuries in 10 years and then 16 on flatter pitches from 2002 to 2006 (era of batting pitches)

    • on November 20, 2013, 4:23 GMT

      As mentioned several times what skews the stats is the sheer number of innings played by batsmen at their peaks between 2003-07 on batting friendly pitches. Tendulkar's 4 yr peaks say 1998-2002 featured merely 56 inn. At his peak from 1994-2003 Tendulkar played just 77 matches and 129 inn. So, the sheer concentration of batsmen in the mid 2000s who were lucky to have many matches played when at their peaks and in great batting conditions as compared to Tendulkar's injury ridden period - is what warps the issue completely.

    • on November 20, 2013, 2:43 GMT

      Fan 1969- What the stats show . Plus in the 1990s (MINUS minnows)- Tendulkar avg. 59 , to Waugh 52 and Lara 51 for batsmen who played throughout the 1990s- is that at his best Tendulkar was MUCH better than the next best for a DECADE. Others as you mention may average more or less- but they don't tower over their peers for a decade. Other batsmen are also in the same ballpark. In the case of Tendulkar ONLY Bradman can claim to have this much difference between him and the next-best for a DECADE.

    • on November 20, 2013, 2:23 GMT

      There is a fundamental lack of understanding about elementary stats. A match "involving" a certain bowler or batsman may or may not mean anything. For eg in the 1998 series against Pak , Wasim and Waqar did not dismiss Tendulkar once. Ambrose has never dismissed Tendulkar. In matches "involving" Donald, Cronje has dismissed Tendulkar almost the similar number of times , etc. So, - simply clubbing all these and other bowlers together and coming up with a number is a rather devious and misleading method. And only fit for those trying to cherry pick stats to prefit a preconceived notion

    • on November 20, 2013, 1:54 GMT

      Fan 1969, the difference is marginal. Apart, Lara's encounters there featured the best attacks. And for the better part of his career, his side had been virtually minnows. At Sydney ST has 4 NOs, Lara has none anywhere. See highlights of their respective innings and you'll see who attacks the best more. (Not forgetting ST was very good against Warne.) I don't attach much importance to stats (Don of course is an obvious exception); I was only reacting to some exaggerated attempts to dismiss some players' low averages in certain countries as their weakness.

    • YoBro on November 19, 2013, 21:24 GMT

      @uday911: You do realize that Test cricket counts as first class cricket, don't you? *embarrassed*

    • on November 19, 2013, 18:40 GMT

      Tendulkar has one test century vs an Australia attack with McGrath and Warne. That sums up the difference between Lara and Tendulkar.

    • on November 19, 2013, 18:14 GMT

      As this has degenerated into a Lara vs Tendulkar discussion (why shouldn't it - they were undoubtedly the best of their generation!), I would just like to say that Lara was absolutely hilarious to watch when he batted vs minnows. He has the 4th fasted century vs Bangladesh and one very fast one vs Canada as well. I also find it intesting that he purposefully dropped himself from the team when the West Indies played low ranking teams. He seemed to relish playing big teams and loved the challenge. He loved facing Australia too, loved duelling vs McGrath and Warne, and he triumphed big against them as much as they absolutely destroyed him, often due to his desire to always impose himself upon the bowler. Sachin, in contrast, was much more careful.

    • on November 19, 2013, 18:08 GMT

      You have to take into account bowling attacks, guys! Lara had huge highs and huge lows, but his highs are remembered because they were against the best bowling attacks. He has what, five or six, big centuries vs Mcgrath and Warne, and 3 of the toughest ODI centuries vs Warne and Mcgrath, one of which was the best most dominating batting display I have ever seen in any format. Patrick Ferriday and Dave Wilson, authors of Masterly Batting: 100 Great Test Centuries, created their list of favourites based on a number of different criteria - runs, conditions, bowling strength, percentage of team total, chances, speed, series impact, match impact, and what they refer to as "intangibles". Tendulkar makes their list just once, in 100th place, for the 155 not out he scored against Australia in Chennai in 1998. This seems a meagre return for a man who has hit 51. Brian Lara, meanwhile, has five centuries in Ferriday and Wilson's top 100, including three in their top 20.

    • on November 19, 2013, 17:17 GMT

      One of the great eye-opener stats article on Sachin Tendulkar .. hope this leaves his critics (who are mostly living in Denial) with their foot in their mouth.

    • Fan1969 on November 19, 2013, 16:00 GMT

      @ Chriskay. Tendulkar's average without SCG in Australia is 35.5 with Lara at 32 without Adelaide. Removed best for both though Tendulkar at SCG at 157 is higher than Lara at 76 in Adelaide.

      Everyone seems to assume Kallis will continue to score heavily and will retire as soon as he starts failing. BTW he failed miserably in UAE against Pakistan but has not retired.

      Stats are crazy. For example, Batsmen from countries ex-India have a huge advantage playing on just 5 home grounds (SL,NZ normally 3-4). If they get used to 2-3 grounds the averages are inflated.

      In ODIs many batsmen allow themselves to be run out on last ball to try that extra one run. Averages fall but...fans keep arguing on these numbers. How do you account for batsmen like Lara playing with the tail and going for runs but then getting out on the boundary. Is it similar to a batsman getting beaten and out in slips?

      Just rely on opposition bowlers & captain opinions. They say SRT was amongst the best. QED

    • on November 19, 2013, 15:30 GMT

      @Paras Rishi. You`re quite entitled to your own opinions, but not your own facts. Bradman scored 11 centuries away from home (in 30 innings), including 3 doubles and 2 triples at an average of 103.

      I am pretty sure that after scoring 4 hundreds (1 double) and 1 fifty vs India in 6 innings, at ave.179, in his only series against them...at age 40... he would have done OK. Blimey, Harvey averaged 55 in India, and he was a leftie!

    • Nampally on November 19, 2013, 14:42 GMT

      @Shams: If you read my input carefully, you will find that I am not comparing Sachin's average with "others" during the 1993-2002 era but with just Kallis's average, in response to one of the commenters. Kallis is couple of years younger than Sachin so the comparison is a fair one because they more or less correspond to their peak period averages! Secondly, I am not comparing Bradman's average with Sachin's. Nobody can beat Bradman's record!. I am just stating that the "Great Don" scored against just one team whilst Tendulkar scored against over 10 Nations & in all countries.Most "Consistent Batsman" of Cricket award, should go to Sachin by a Mile! 200 Tests + 453 ODI's + all the first class matches over a longest period of 24 years. While Bradman holds the all time batting average record, Tendulkar despite his diminutive size holds the "Iron Man of Cricket" Title, at least in my book + Sobers the Greatest Cricketer. Nobody can deny either of these 3 Legends of their contributions!

    • on November 19, 2013, 14:13 GMT

      Dave Bollen: Bradman could only manage 9 away centuries and all of them against England in similar conditions. I am sure he would have averaged 15 like Ponting in the Indian sub-continent playing against Indian or Pakistani spinners.

    • uday911 on November 19, 2013, 12:13 GMT

      Sachin has 50k runs in first class cricket?? Nowhere close if I know my cricket correctly.

    • on November 19, 2013, 12:12 GMT

      He was not the only player who suffered from poor decisions. He didn't either believe he was, as his objection to DRS proves (don't say he was helpless in this regard; everyone knows he wasn't). His fans exaggerate the incident involving his shoulder in an lbw decision. The l in lbw only suggests leg is the part that usually features; so is lb (your side gets runs as lb off your hand too). He's short and at worst it was a bad decision, not necessarily a howler which is occurring to every player now and then. Lara who often walked and posted decent average with just 6 NOs looks more impressive statistically. See how biased his fans are, when they say his failure to post 300 is no big deal whereas they are harsh on some others' inability to average more than 40 (and why this obsession with 40; since he somehow reached it, by not farming the strike at Centurion?) in certain countries. In that case, his average in Oz outside Sydney (which famously behaves SC-like) too should be a concern.

    • on November 19, 2013, 12:00 GMT

      @Nampally, don`t want to be picky, but Bradman also played 5 tests against WI (ave. 75), 5 tests against India (ave. 179), and 5 tests against SAF (ave. 202)

    • on November 19, 2013, 11:50 GMT

      It is sad that in the end Sachin's career has become a 'numbers game'. It started with the hype around the 100-100s, the most meaningless of records (How do you add and compare 100s across different formats is beyond me).

      Also, people forget that Sachin was loved and admired many years before he broke his first record!!

      Lets just remember the joy he gave us over the years instead on going on about his stats, averages, records and comparisons with other great players of his generation like Lara, Ponting, Kallis, etc.

    • Fan1969 on November 19, 2013, 11:12 GMT

      Just checked. After 97-99 Tests (Cook, Clarke, KP), 112-117 (Smith, Sangakkara), 131 (Lara), 164 (Kallis) and 168 (Ponting, Waugh) Tendulkar has better records vs all in terms of averages, centuries etc.

      Lara had more runs in 131 tests but lower average (actually Lara has batted more in 4th innings just because WI lost more). So I guess we must compare averages for 1st, 2nd innings vs 3rd and 4th when you bat on Day 4 and 5....

      Stats is like an elephant that appears different to a blind man from which ever angle he looks at it.

      As I said earlier, when opposition bowlers and captains rate a batsman, that to me is most credible.

      You knock off the 375, 400 innings of Lara and his numbers look ordinary. The situation and what the bowlers felt is the only key.

      Don batted in a different era with different rules, so comparisons cannot be made

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 10:42 GMT

      @cherrywood champion accept the fact Sachin was one among the greats but not the greatest... no one can compare two different players.... being an opener and playing for 463 matches it is not a big deal to get 18000 plus runs.... openers always get 50 overs to bat in every match...similarily in tests he has scored 15000 plus runs after playing 200 tests... nothing great there either.... yes i salute him for his longevity and temperament but that does not make him "the best" of all time...so think before boasting off someone and degrading someone....

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 10:33 GMT

      mr cherrywood champion actually u r short sighted.... u r not able to see anything beyond SRT.... expand your vision and start appreciating other players too who are equally good... n why your dear SRT does not have a single hundred in world cup finals,champions trophy finals,asia cup finals?? he himself said once that he constantly keeps a watch on the records ... which means he chased records during the latter half of his career rather playing for the team like Dhoni who comes in at no.6 or 7 and still has an average of 50 plus in ODIs n also performs when it matters...

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 10:28 GMT

      Mr. cherry wood champion mind your words.... n bye the way u yourself stated the golden rule " cricket is a team sport"..... team needs to perform well as a unit...that's my point... so y r u so obsessed with SRT who was always after records....? any answers... he has not done anything mind boggling...I would consider a player great if he is capable of winning matches... Yes he is a great player but not the best ever... his records are not untouchable....all will be broken easily...

    • on November 19, 2013, 10:16 GMT

      Lara had s distinct weakness against real pace ( 145+ ks - not medium pace). Lara does not have a single 100 vs. any genuine pace bowler till 2003. Then on he has 4 against Lee and Flintoff on the most batting friendly conditions imaginable. Tendulkar has classic 100s against virtually every genuine pace bowler of the past 25 years.

    • on November 19, 2013, 10:15 GMT

      in the 1990s for batsmen who played right through the 1990s (MINUS minnows Ban/Zim) Tendulkar avg. 59 to Steve's 52 and Lara's 51.i.e 15% better than the "next best" for over a decade. Needless to say - Only Bradman can boast of such dominance over the "next best" for over a decade. Lara and co. don't come close.

      What happened was that from 2003-07, with Tendulkar injured, all and sundry piled on huge runs in arguably the best batting conditions in history. Till 2003 Tendulkar was streets ahead of the pack- suddenly in just 4 years- just about everyone suddenly "caught up" So the overall stats hide Tendulkars decade and over dominace over the pack

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 19, 2013, 9:50 GMT

      "@binoynair:Ok so u call Dravid an ordinary player.... but his 233 and 72 not out in adelaide led india to a victory after many decades" ------- You seem to be so short sighted ... Ponting hit 242* in the same match .. why then did Aussies lose that test. Because there were no other contributers from his team in that match.

      Where as VVS scored 148 in the same innings which contributed to a 300 run partnership with Dravid. And then Agarkar took 6 wickets for 41 runs to skittle out the Aussies in the second innings. So what does that tell you binoy ... VICTORY COMES WITH TEAM EFFORT. Theories that SRTs centuries never gave us victories are senseless.

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 9:31 GMT

      Ok so u call Dravid an ordinary player.... but his 233 and 72 not out in adelaide led india to a victory after many decades..n still remains the only victory after that also.. althouth SRT has 6 hundreds down under but none of them resulted in a victory for India... what is the fun of scoring hundreds when your team can't win matches....

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 8:50 GMT

      @CherryWood_Champion isn't the stance clear! Tendulkar is a great, but he is not necessarily the greatest of his era (in Terms of Tests which is what this article is about). A metric which weighs runs scored against the quality of opposition (bowling strength/pitch conditions) should easily show that! Then we wouldn't need to argue over raw stats or which bowlers was in the line-up or not. Lara/Dravid can claim to be better Test batsmen. Certainly Dravid was the more influential batsman in terms of victories abroad. Lara had more charisma and actually performed better (higher average) than Tendulkar, despite the weak team, against the top teams (i.e. excluding Zim and Bd). A case can also be made for pre-1999 Sri Lanka which had a weakish bowling attack (Murali only became a menace after he started bowling the doosra).

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 8:36 GMT

      Indian have won 71 test out of the 200 tests SRT has played in... winning percentage of 35.5%..... in ODIs India have won 234 out of 463 SRT has played in... winning % of 50.53... now Australians have won 108 out of 168 tests Ponting has played in.... Winning % of 64.28...in ODIs 262 out of 375 matches Winning % of 69.86%.... now u see for yourself who is greater... is accumulating runs over 2 decades is more important or your team winning is more important... n if u say Ponting had a quality team than SRT than ok fine.. but why SRT does not have a single hundred in world cup,champions trophy,asia cup finals?? he himself said once that he is aware of the records ... which means he chased records rather playing for the team like Dhoni who comes in at no.6 or 7 and still has an average of 50 plus in ODIs n also performs when it matters...

    • on November 19, 2013, 8:23 GMT

      Hugely skewed and uncharacteristic statistical analysis.

      I respect Tendulkar and his achievements. He is infact the greatest Indian player ever, and definitley among the top 5 overall cricketers.

      But, this statistical analysis is a farce.

      The author selectively picks 1991 to 2002, 1991 to 2003, 1991 to 2008, etc. to compare one player to the rest.

      Pick any great player in that list (say Lara, Ponting, S. Waugh, Dravid); every one of them would have fared better than Tendulkar in may aspects had the range been different; say for eg. 1993 to 1998, 2001 to 2008, 2007 to 2013, etc. I mean, selective picking and comparison is the worst kind of statistical analysis. An absolute injustice to the maths.

      If you selectively pick years, compare his own performances - i.e. Tendulkar's alone in different phases.

      And we clearly know Tendulkar faded out in the last two years, which the author chose to ignore, and the fourth innings farce - which was just casually mentioned.

      Poor analysis

    • on November 19, 2013, 8:23 GMT

      Worth a read Mr 2008................his average in Tests between 2008 to retiring was 151-200 Tests Aug 2008-Nov 2013 4044 52.51 12/ 19 .............. and his form outside india which everyone is disillusionised as Dravid's terriotory is worth reading, and his average in teh tough environment of england, south africa and australia..............

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 8:16 GMT

      @ linguboy: Yess m comparing them... ofcourse...Kohli has a much better average while chasing even more than the Great SRT.... Kohli doesn't break under pressure unlike SRT.. 2003 world cup the team needed him against the Australians but failed miserably twice.. most importantly on the finals... 2007 2 matches.... not a single good score... 2011 world cup.... hundred against south africa...india lost....hundred against england... game was tied.... failed again in the finals... 2012 asia cup... Great SRT's 100th hundred.... took so much time that india lost that match to bangladesh.... how can u call someone great if he can't win the match for his team.. ponting single handedly won the 2003 world cup with his 140 in the finals... u r a great player only if u perform when it matters.. just performing in bilateral series and tri nation series when there is no pressure is nothing great...

    • Sandeep.M.J.D on November 19, 2013, 8:15 GMT

      Enough of this praise and hidden numbers. Sachin is great, same time just one of the greats, others are not at all inferior. I wont ask you to grow up, but just think wisely, it is not rocket science to analyse statistics and to know what they hide.

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 8:06 GMT

      @CherryWood_Champion :No one stopped anyone from playing for 24 years but Tendulkar was "lucky" to be selected at the age of 16 years...which means at that time Indian domestic cricket did not have players with good calibre.. and the whole world knows the kind of competition there is in Australian domestic cricket... the reason why they have produced legends every now n then.. they force even the greats to retire after a certain age.... steve Waugh was forced to retire in 2004.... even he could have played till 40... but Australians have enough players to take up his place unlike India where 1 or 2 players seem to stick around for 2 decades because of lack of talent... but even that is changing now slowly in India...

    • on November 19, 2013, 8:05 GMT

      Great work of statistics!!! Love it and now I can show these data to those of my friends, who always object Master performance and said Lara, Ponting were better than Sachin. These stats shows how single hand he took Indian cricket team from a minnow to a tiger !!

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 19, 2013, 7:50 GMT

      @Shams: Be a man and take a stand. Either Sachin is the greatest or someone else is.You cannot bring in Dravids/Rickys/Laras/Kallis and start comparing Apples to Oranges. Never mistook Lara's humility ... but instead have great respect and appreciation for him from bottom of my heart for stating that SRT is the greatest unlike others who are egoistic to accept a simple fact. Because then they start giving silly reasons like oh he played only one series/ oh McGrath was not in the bowling line up ... oh but for the sand storm Aussie bowlers would have taken him out ... oh but for SRTs last over SA would have won the Hero Cup .... come on .. grow up mate.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 7:32 GMT

      @linguboy You are mistaken! The ICC ratings does not care about the opponent team's rank! As per the faq page "all the Ratings calculations are based purely on the information in the scorecard...Because the ratings take account of the opposition strength, there shouldn't be any obvious advantage to playing against any particular team." Previous faq pages gave more details like giving bonus for victories in addition to bowling strength and pitch conditions.

      Btw, even with your team ranking argument shouldn't Tendulkar be comfortably ahead in terms of ICC ratings points since he had such a high average against Aus!!!

      Source: ICC Ratings FAQ page.

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 19, 2013, 7:31 GMT

      @binoynair: Agreed records are made only to be broken, if not all most of them can be broken. Also agreed that had Ponting or Lara played for 24 years, their records "might" have been different. BUT THE FACT IS NEITHER PONTING OR LARA HAD THE ENDURANCE AND THE TEMPERAMENT TO SURVIVE THIS KIND OF LONGEVITY. so SRT is way above these guys. Coming to your Sir Don statement. How can he be the greatest batsman of all time based solely on averages played only in Eng/Australia? Don had no clue against Hedley Verity a spinner. In 16 tests they played together Verity conceded just 401 runs to Bradman and claimed his wicket 8 times, which meant he could score only at half of his career average against Verity. Imagine his Avg had he played in India on turning tracks. But again the Fact is his avg so far has been unbeatable. So lets not compare batsmen from different eras. "If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet." - This coming from your's truly Sir Vivian Richards:)

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 7:27 GMT

      "Modern Era Batsmen versus Top Eight Nations" Sangakkara 176 Inns @ 53.29, Kallis 263 Inns @ 53.03, Lara 226 Inns @ 52.53 ... Ponting 278 Inns @ 51.10, Tendulkar 306 Inns @ 51.01. Rate of scoring 100s: Sangakkara 6.77, Kallis 6.58, Lara 7.06 ... Ponting 7.13, Tendulkar 7.12. Someday we will have a measure of weighing runs by bowling quality, pitch conditions, and other factors. That will give a truer account of which modern-era batsman was the best.

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 7:24 GMT

      @binoyNair: Really are you comparing Kholi and Sachin????? What kind of bowlers did Kholi faced so far in his career??? Malinga, anderson, steyn are only the quality bowlers. Compare that with what Sachin faced every team had atleast two quality bowlers to boast of. Who stopped Lara or Ponting from playing 24 years???? Ponting was past his prime since 2009 till the time he retired. Kallis may broke the record for most centuries but will he considered in the same league as Sachin??? hell NO. Kallis is a grafter much like cook, who scores runs but don't attract crowds. But Sachin dominated bowlers and is a crowd puller like Lara and Ponting. Records may be broken my friend but legacies will remain forever whether you accept it or not.

    • Fan1969 on November 19, 2013, 7:19 GMT

      Guys, stats have limitations in accounting for conditions of bowling on that day, the quality of the attack and the confidence of the batting unit. India went overseas with the idea to draw a series as the bowlers could rarely get the opposition out till 2002. Makes a massive difference to batsmen mindset.

      To me what matters is what the best bowlers say. Most rate him in the top 2 with Lara and some as clearly the best. QED. Who am I to judge top batsmen?

      Ponting was always part of a winning unit. Makes a huge difference to batting confidence. He had an average of 40 till 45 tests. Kallis averaged just 40 till first 50 tests. By that time SA were just behind Australia in the opposition eyes and Walsh, Ambrose, Akram and Waqar were retiring.

      Kallis and Dravid had more determination to stay and not get out, a la Gavaskar, Amarnath but Tendulkar could dominate attacks.

      Would we watch every ball that Kallis, Chanderpaul, Dravid, Misbah play? They are boring. Tendulkar u will not miss

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 7:13 GMT

      @CherryWood_Champion Lara played *one* series in India! It would have been interesting to see how he would have performed in subsequent trips. Btw, don't mistake Lara's humility, he is great friends with Tendulkar and of course he will praise Sachin. No one is arguing that Sachin isn't a great, but he is not leaps and bounds (perhaps even below in some categories) above his contemporaries. Lara and even Dravid can claim to have better performances when we look past just raw numbers. One should note the tact in the article 1993-2002, omitting last series vs Aus - best team claim but not necessarily which bowling attack. The best way to judge a players performance is to weight the runs scored by bowling attack quality and pitch conditions.

    • blthndr on November 19, 2013, 7:10 GMT

      mr.Rajesh thanks for these stats....u hold this one to the end till sachin's retirement....these facts shut many mouths and unnecessary arguments about sachin....

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 7:10 GMT

      @Shams: Eh???? When did ICC rankings consider the pitch conditions and opposition bowling attacks?????? Did i understood the ranking conditions wrong????? I thought it took only opposition team ranking into consideration not which bowler is playing or on what pitch it was played. If India ranks no.2 and has poor bowling attack it doesn't take that into consideration mate. If player scores even 1000 runs against India it will be considered as its against no.2 rather than against poor bowling attack. there goes your logic.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 7:10 GMT

      Guys this discussion would go on and on without any conclusion. I accept there are many batsman who is is better than Tendulkar in some( 2-3) aspects. Like Dravid better performance in Eng, or no 300 for Sachin , or no 400 iif you you compare with Lara. But Tendulkar out scored them in many more aspects like more than 40+ avg in all countries/condition, most centuries, most test runs, most test matches, career of 24 years, played the quality bowling as he is playing since 1989 he faced all the gr8 bowlers of these 2 decades on their prime, good overseas record, consistency, Debut at tender age of 16 etc. People always compare him with one particular aspects of other player. Lara is the only player in test who can be compared to Tendulkar as he is the only one who checked the most boxes after Tendulkar. Guys I was big fan of Agassi but never claimed he was better than sampras. If you like one player it doesn't matter if he is the greatest or not.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 7:05 GMT

      @cenitin Yes, Tendulkar average rises while Lara's drops - in Australia with McGrath in the attack. But Tendulkar's numbers are for *one* series in 1999 from 6 inns when he was at his peak (as per this article). Lara's numbers are spread over 3 series and 27 inns including the 1996-2001 phase when he was, generally, at his worst! Also, these do not take pitch conditions and other bowlers in the attack into account.

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 7:02 GMT

      Stop comparing Sachin n Dravid guys.... both are greats in their own rights... sachin played for 24 years and Dravid for 16 years... 8 years are a lot to catch up.... who knows if Dravid might have played for 24 years .... he might have had better numbers than Sachin.... n obviously age catches up with everyone... till 30 every player at his peak but after than it's always below par.... Sachin's performance after b/w 89-2002 and 2003-2013 are contrasting...Sachin had an advantage of starting at the age of 16 years... no one can deny that ever....

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 6:59 GMT

      @Ammar72: I am not annoyed mate. Let's analyse a situation here. Most of the triple centuries are scored in flat lifeless tracks not on livelier tracks. Lets say that team bats first plays around 150 overs at 4rpo = 600 runs. When you have Sehwag and Gambhir(openers) and Dravid(no.3), in flat lifeless tracks, at the top then the chances of Sachin(no.4) coming to the crease decreases rapidly as opposed to other batsmen.(Amla(no.3), Clarke(poor top order recently), Hayden(opener), Lara(poor top order)). Most of the cases when he arrives it will be around declaration so need to go for some quick runs. So its unfair for a player to judge his greatness based on the no.of Triple centuries scored by him. Hope you understood my point. Cheers.

    • binoynair on November 19, 2013, 6:48 GMT

      I really don't think sachin has done something extraordinary like what a bradman did.... he has accumulated so many runs only because he stayed for so long... if Lara or Ponting would have played for 24 years they would have a even better record.... even i am a tendulkar fan but some of u guys seem to be too obsessed about him n his stats..... his stats will be broken easily.... juz wait n watch guys.... virat kohi already has 17 hundreds... he can easily get past 49 in the next 10-12 years.... n Kallis has a better average than tendulkar in Tests... he is just 2000 odd runs away from tendulkar's record of 15921 n also has 44 centuries already... so Tendulkar's records are nothing great... Don Bradman will remain the best player forever in tests and in ODIs Viv Richards....

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 19, 2013, 6:47 GMT

      And now for all the Lara fans: Brian Lara Tests:( In India on flat tracks ) - Averages 33.00 with not even a single century

      SRT(In West Indies-Against Ambrose/Bishop/Walsh) - Avg 47.69

      Comments from Best West Indian batsmen including Lara himself. ""If there's any accolade I can place on him it's that, although everybody has their opinion about who is the best, but Sachin Tendulkar has definitely had the best cricket career out of any cricketer that I have known." - Lara "Sachin is a genius. I'm a mere mortal." - Lara "I didn't see Don but to me, in all my years associated with the game, I haven't seen a better batsman than Sachin Tendulkar" said Vivian Richards "If there is a better batsman than Sachin then he hasn't arrived yet." - Vivian Richards Australian spin legend Shane Warne: "Sachin Tendulkar is, in my time, the best player without a doubt -- daylight second, Brian Lara third." - Thats it no more arguments please.#peace

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 6:41 GMT

      @Shams@Shan156 : Sachin avg increased from 36.77 to 46.33 in Aus against Mcgrath , Lara avg drop from 46.38 to 37.14 in Aus against Mcgrath. You know pitches in Ind, WI and Aus. I don't want to say much and rest my case.

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 6:39 GMT

      @coolindianfan, first read my post completely before replying. I *clearly* mentioned that Sachin was better in SA and SL. I never said Dravid was the better batsman. My post was a reply to another post that claimed that Sachin was better than Dravid in all conditions. 40 decisions against and 5-6 in favor? Where did you get these numbers?

      @CherryWood_Champion, uh? Point to a post of mine where I claimed that Sachin was not the best batsman of his generation?

      @linguboy, true, you need to understand that no one disputes SRT's greatness. Not me at least. @shams, as I understand, was only trying to say that while SRT has great #s against Aus, not all of it was against the best bowling attack like the article claims because Aus' best bowling attack would include McGrath. And, when McGrath was playing, Sachin's numbers aren't that great. This is a fact. Ofc, it doesn't diminish SRT's greatness one bit.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 6:35 GMT

      @Shan156 : Actually I was replying to Tiffany Maria Sinclaire regarding his Mcgrath- Warne comment. See my separate comment to @shams regarding Mcgrath only.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 6:34 GMT

      @LaraFever Both Tendulkar and Lara had very poor decisions against them. Lara himself had 3 out of 4 poor decisions in the first two Tests in his last tour. Other occassions involve being lbw when the ball pitched outside leg stump. Add to that the stumping of Healy in 92-93, the catch claimed by Steve Waugh in 95, and so on. The list goes on vs NZ, Eng, SA, ... Sure Lara like any other batsman also might have got decisions in his favor. But the most important differentiator is that Lara was a walker which put him at a bigger disadvantage. So while things might have evened out for Tendulkar (who wasn't always a walker - e.g. DRS decision for caught behind vs Murali, 150+* vs SA) they wouldn't necessarily even out for Lara.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 6:29 GMT

      @Shan156 : If you see overall career of Sachin and Dravid in Eng there is not much to pick between them. But in 2011 Dravid performed well. Also You need to understand Sachin - Anderson dual started in 2006-07 and then end on 2012. Sachin starts in career from 1989. So in 2006 he already past his best. So you can't pass any judgement. At that time whennver Sachin was not in form he didn't able to score against Anderson but in 2008-10 during his second wind he played only 1 series against Eng/Anderson and avg 52. You must have remembered the match winning 103 not out in fourth inng to chase down 370+ score. But in 2006-07 and 2011, 2012 he was not in best of form. I accept Anderson got Sachin many times and his avg is bad against him. Anderson is very good bowler but he was very lucky because even many bowlers better than Anderson not having similar success against Sachin.

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 6:29 GMT

      @VinodGupte: Exactly. J Kallis averages mere 41 against Australia(best team till last 5 years) home and away. Whereas Sachin averages 55 against them. While we say this they will come up with stats like his average against Mcgrath and Warne. If Kallis averages more against then then why did his overall average is so low??? by that logic he should have dominated Aus no???? In England he averages mere 37. In SL he averages in 30s. Hardly recognizable as great figures no???? Its simple he scores his bulk of his runs against weaker nations and nations with weaker bowling attacks but KALLIS is a FAILURE against GOOD bowling attacks in their home conditions. Ah!!! what a farce this average is????? pls publish cricinfo.

    • on November 19, 2013, 6:29 GMT

      " Like you'd expect of any batsman, he was more prolific when the top three batsmen had given the team a good start"....This is a logical flaw propagated by another writer here...If a batsman comes in early the chances are the bowling is superior, the pitch poor, or the earlier batsmen poor...And vice versa for a good score on the board.

    • Ammar72 on November 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT

      @Linguboy: Dear raged friend what I mentioned is true though bitter to swallow. But fact is fact. Why ppl like u miss the point?? Does it really not an under achievement that despiet that LONG career (thats another story how he extended it till 200th Test match), the bastman of such a calibre and despite having hunger for runs, could not notch up atleast one tripple?? why to get annoyed on such points??? Atleast we should remain balanced in accepting the shortcomings of legends

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 19, 2013, 6:25 GMT

      @Tiffany Maria Sinclaire: The century (170+)that Lara made against Aussies was a mediocre attack .... less Lee/Gillespie/McGrath ... while it was the other way around for SRT (less McGrath). You should get your facts right.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 6:24 GMT

      @linguboy performance versus countries is not enough, it can be misleading e.g. Sachin's own average in a series with a strong bowling line-up in 1999-2000 (when he was at his peak) and later in 2003-04. Considering the bowling strength and pitch conditions is also important. For e.g. the ICC ratings takes these and more factors into account and some batsmen, e.g. Lara and Dravid comfortably fare better than Tendulkar.

      @cenitin if Dravid failed in tough conditions, at least he has the excuse of batting at #3 or opening the batting! Despite failing in these tough conditions, he has a better overall 'away' average and that average is even more impressive in wins!!!

    • kingkarthik on November 19, 2013, 6:21 GMT

      Kallis filled his boots with tons and tons of runs with the west indies. In fact this from the mid 2000's when West Indies had bowlers like Corey Collymore, Vasbert Drake and god knows how many so called spinners. Kallis has never been able to conquer the greatest bowler of our times, Muttiah Muralitharan in SL. Kallis has been shown to be a mere mortal. Kallis did not face Wasim and Waqar or Ambrose and Walsh. He struggled in Australia against the mighty Aussie bowlers. So Tendulkar's numbers are good because he had support? Well then what did he Kallis have? Gary Kirsten, Hansie, Cullinan, Pollock, Ntini, Donald, Klusener.... not a bad supporting cast in terms of batting or bowling. Sachin does have his glitches, agreed. But he is the next after Don and the single greatest batsmen of our times. Some one is going to post that since Nasser Hussain scored a hundred in his last match, he is better than Sachin and Don. Jeez, guys please give proper arguments.

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 6:14 GMT

      @Ram2212: Ah!!!! same IFS and BUTS. Lets consider this scenario. 1.What would have happened if Sachin had Walsh and Ambrose as bowlers???? He would have won more matches and he would have been the biggest match winer of all. 2. What would have happened if Indian team just didn't declare for the sake of Sachin scoring 400??(just like the case with Lara and WI) he would have scored atleast 2 triple hundreds. Game is all about how much you scored and where??? It doesn't take IFS and BUTS into equation my friend. Cheers.

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 19, 2013, 6:13 GMT

      @shan156: "@CherryWood_Champion, agreed. I didn't mean to say that Tendulkar's greatness diminishes because Anderson had the better of him on many occasions. If anything, it enhances Anderson's status as a bowler as he was quite successful against the best batsman of his generation." ---- hahaha ... so you do agree that SRT was the best batsman on his generation. Good to know that finally sense prevails. Better late than never.

    • coolindianfan on November 19, 2013, 6:12 GMT

      @ Shan156 mate Dravid a better batsmen then Tendulkar. U mentioned about swinging conditions in England ,Sachin is not an unproven there as well right then what about hostile conditions in Australia and South Africa , 2011 Dravid was the only class act , but then u also have to take into consideration South Africa 2010-11 , Dravid had a horrible series in south africa if sachin has an ordinary record in 2011 in england then what about dravids average of 20 . There is a reason why mcgrath, warne , lee, etc have called sachn the best batsmen in his era , not dravid . In odis get it straight mate , Sachin is the greatest , Dravis as cricinfo describes is defined as the mis fit who thrived . For the records I am as Dravid fan . as far as umpiring decissions , Sachin had about 40 wrong umpiring dcissions that went against him . as oppose to 5-6 lucky ones . So nos proove u wrong even there.

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 6:06 GMT

      @cenitin, Sham was referring to Tendulkar's numbers when McGrath was playing. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html? class=1;filter=advanced;opposition=2;orderby=default; player_involve=2101;template=results;type=allround

      Your filters have an "or" condition - McGrath or Warne. That is why the average shows higher. Tendulkar was, indeed, great against Warne.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 6:05 GMT

      @ Shams : Sachin avg increased from 36.77 to 46.33 in Aus against Mcgrath , Lara avg drop from 46.38 to 37.14 in Aus against Mcgrath. You know pitches in Ind, WI and Aus. I don't want to say much and rest my case.

    • VinodGupte on November 19, 2013, 5:57 GMT

      let's take out ZIM and hapless WI from the equation and see how kallis fares. you'll be surprised.

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 5:55 GMT

      @Shan156: Exactly mate. Yes decisions good or bad as a player you have to live with it. But it also underlines the fact that its silly to consider the average of a batsman against a particular bowler because its easy that he could have failed against him due to some dodgy decisions but he could also escaped through those decisions against those bowlers those who he dominated. So its safe to consider the overall average against a particular country in their soil than to analyse those stats against every single bowler. Atleast it evens itself.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 5:54 GMT

      @ Shams : Dravid failed in every tough Country condition wise including SA, Aus, SL (most spin friendly pitches) except Eng. He scored good runs in WI and NZ but we know these countries bowlingistrength during Dravid career. But I still think he is very good overseas Indian player (third best after Tendulkar and Gavaskar) but not best. I don't want to dis-respect Dravid because I am huge of him too but facts are facts.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 5:47 GMT

      @Tiffany Maria Sinclaire and @Shams: Just for your knowledge Sachin avg is 53.29 against Mcgrath and Warne. Lara avg is 50 and J Kallis mere 38. You can check this link http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=1;filter=advanced;opposition=2;orderby=default;player_involve= 2000;player_involve=2101;template=results;type=allround

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 5:46 GMT

      @Ammar72: So what????? Does that make him lesser batsman than who scored triple hundreds?? When did they change the standards of measuring a players legacy by the number of triple centuries scored???? There's no use if you score 10 triple hundreds and 50 innings of no substance. Its the consistency that matters my friend. Not the useless triple hundreds with single digit scores of large numbers between them. Its amazing that You people are trying to find fault at everything. If you consider scoring against Bangladesh that easy then why is the Great Kallis averages 35 in Bangladesh????? Why is the so called best player Lara averages 36 in India??? PLs reply. Cricinfo don't just post arguments post reply to those arguments too.

    • Ram2212 on November 19, 2013, 5:43 GMT

      I just have two thoughts going on after going through this article - a) What If Lara had batsmen like Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman in his side? b) What If "Not Outs" are not considered in calculating the average?

      My feeling is - a) We would have been having more interesting discussions between Lara Vs. Sachin. b) At least 3 tables listed in this article based on highest average, would have shown Sachin as mortal.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 5:38 GMT

      @akpy Outside the subcontinent averages: Dravid 54.58 in 124 inns and Tendulkar 50.37 in 135 inns. Outside the subcontinent in wins: Dravid 71.26 in 22 inns and Tendulkar 58.06 in 16 inns. How does that make Tendulkar better than Dravid in Test cricket 'abroad'?

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 5:29 GMT

      @akpy, "sachin was better than dravid in every form of cricket and in every conditions, regardless of stats". Wrong. Dravid was better in the swinging conditions in England than Tendulkar. Tendulkar put England to the sword when they had mediocre bowlers (ave: 71.60 in 10 tests) but when England had Anderson, he averaged 35.78 in 7 tests. Since you mention, "regardless of stats", look at how an older Dravid handled the Eng. attack with ease in 2011 while Tendulkar was not so much at ease. Of course, in every other condition, SRT was better than Dravid, especially in SA and SL.

    • cenitin on November 19, 2013, 5:26 GMT

      Above state cleared many myths : 1. Rahul is better overseas player than Sachin. Look at there career avg at Aus, SA and Eng . And you will find that Sachin avg is higher in Aus and SA by good margin and Dravid avg is slightly higher in Eng but Sachin has avg of 53 in Eng. Also in SL pitches which support spin Sachin avg is much higher than Dravid. 2. Rahul and VVS are better 4 th inng player. Sachin avg IS 37 and Rahul and VVS avg is around 40. Only slightly better. Also I would say all three having good avg in 4th inng considering in sub continent in 4th inng Avg score is 1750-200.

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 5:24 GMT

      @LaraFever, hard to argue on those lines. For every bad decision Tendulkar got, he has also got some that has gone his way. These wrong decisions even out over the course of a player's career especially a career as long as SRT's.

    • Ammar72 on November 19, 2013, 5:18 GMT

      I think the most glaring non-achievement of Tendulkar which perhaps is seldom realized - despite that long career - is not scoring a "tripple century". Even lesser mortals have achieved that feat in relatively shorter span of career. Moreover, another sort of under achievement is his "highest" Test score which is 248 and thats too against Bangladesh. Can i expect these words to be published in these "high Tendulkar moments after retirement ".

    • akpy on November 19, 2013, 4:51 GMT

      Shams...sachin was better than dravid in every form of cricket and in every conditions, regardless of stats!!! But that is not a bad comment on dravid. Why do you think sachin is in all time test 11s of all noteworthy compilations? You can keep dravid in your eleven if you want. And people like warne, lee, McGrath, akram, Donald, etc call sachin as one of their best opponent along with Lara and no one even mentions dravid - maybe you know more than them.

    • linguboy on November 19, 2013, 4:44 GMT

      @Shams: forget about all these numbers. I wouldn't say any batsman averaging less than 40 in any particular country as a great batsman. Sorry. It means that particular player whoever it may be had some weakness against some type of bowling which hardly makes them great. Sorry. Cricinfo atleast pubish this please.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 4:29 GMT

      @Nampally Don't you think it is a little unfair to compare Tendulkar's best years (1993-2002) to the career numbers of other players.

    • Shams on November 19, 2013, 4:14 GMT

      @Vikas Kalra, Sachin has 9674 runs in the subcontinent, that is a massive 60.8% in the Indian subcontinent!!! The corresponding percentages for Sangakkara (76.2%) and Dravid (55.4%). Dravid was the better Test batsman for India abroad. He might average slightly lower, but he played more crucial innings.

    • Philippe on November 19, 2013, 4:07 GMT

      He probably is the greatest in ODIs & among greats in Tests.

    • the_predator on November 19, 2013, 3:48 GMT

      also one need to consider that Sachin never got chance to play against INIDIAN bowling attack. He had to face WI (when they had ambrose and walsh) SA, AUS, PAK, Sl (murli) bowlers which batmen from their country did not face. also one need to consider the burden of expectation he used to face. no one else faced even a 1/10 th of those. also one need to consider that sachin for most of the time came to bat when INDIA is 25/2. so the ball is new and swinging. For most part LARA , ponting had the cover of a good start from their openers.

      I wonder what would have been his statistics if he batted against INDIA!!

      simultaneously i would love to see record of

      INZAMAM (best from pakistan) in AUS and ENG. Poniting in INDIA Peterson against strong SPIN attack. Aravind disilva (best from srilanka) in ENG/SA.

      Guys if you want to point out only short comings then there plenty of whole in all the guys. apart from LARA (who is equal or even better in certain cases) no one is like sachin.

    • LaraFever on November 19, 2013, 3:31 GMT

      @Shams: Do you know how many times he was a victim of poor decisions, while Mcgrath played? I know at least 4 of those instances! So if I take that into account his average rises up to 47! Yes you are right, these stats must be taken with a grain of salt. At the same time, Lara played 64 lesser test matches!!!!!

    • LaraFever on November 19, 2013, 3:26 GMT

      @Tiffany Maria Sinclaire: I am not a big Tendulkar fan, but you are not right when you said that he did not perform well against the "mighty Aussie" attack. In 1999, India were crushed, but Tendulkar managed to average more than 45. Yes, Mcgrath, Warne, were playing too. And guess what? Out of the 6 innings that Tendulkar played, he was a victim of at least 3 extremely poor decisions. Please get your facts right! And I can give many more examples like that.

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 2:49 GMT

      and, @Nampally, as @Shams post proves, Tendulkar did not exactly 'annul' McGrath the way you think. He did quite OK against the Aussie attack with McGrath in the mix but not as well as without him.

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 2:46 GMT

      @Nampally, yes, Bradman made most of his runs against one team and that is because only Aus. and Eng. were playing most of the cricket at that time. Who knows what he would have achieved in the modern game? If someone claims that Bradman would have failed in this era (technology in support of bowlers, more cricket, different formats, etc.), then another could claim that Sachin would have failed in that era (lesser protection for batsmen, no rules for bouncers bowled, uncovered pitches, etc.). That is exactly the reason why we cannot compare players across different generations. Sachin is the best batsman of this generation and Bradman was the best then. However, the difference between the best and 2nd best was huge in Bradman's era.

    • Shan156 on November 19, 2013, 2:38 GMT

      @CherryWood_Champion, agreed. I didn't mean to say that Tendulkar's greatness diminishes because Anderson had the better of him on many occasions. If anything, it enhances Anderson's status as a bowler as he was quite successful against the best batsman of his generation. In retrospect, though, I should not have mentioned Anderson in my message. It may cause my post to be taken in a different light.

    • EverybodylovesSachin on November 19, 2013, 2:32 GMT

      Best ever not just by the stats but by everything...on and off the field..

    • on November 19, 2013, 2:15 GMT

      But Kallis and Sangakkara has better averages than Sachin.

    • on November 19, 2013, 1:50 GMT

      Don't read too much into the average pattern around 40 or so. His record in Australia relies too much on one venue. (Add to this fact that Australia were winning matches at this venue when they struggled elsewhere against the WI quickies, with the help of some spinners.)

    • on November 19, 2013, 1:05 GMT

      Shams makes an excellent point. It is a myth that Tendulkar performed well against the "mighty Australians". He performed well when McGrath and Warne weren't bowling. He never faced the most feared, mightiest Aussie bowling battalions, always weakened attacks. He has one century against a decent Aussie bowling attack. Compare this to Lara, who scored big against the toughest Aussie bowling attacks. And for all his supposed consistency, Tendulkar's century-per-innings ratio is exactly the same as Lara's, and that's with Tendulkar being helped by numerous games vs minnows.

    • huffpost on November 19, 2013, 0:51 GMT

      Thanks a lot. S Rajesh and cricinfo..........These stats reinforce the fact...and rightly so that he is the best...

    • Retour on November 19, 2013, 0:34 GMT

      "At No. 4, he finished with 13,492 runs, 4574 more than the next-highest. Kallis and Greg Chappell have better averages, but it's unlikely any batsman will touch his aggregate at that position" ----> Why is there so much focus on aggregate? B/W 1993 and 2002, Tendulkar averaged 63 from 85 tests. Let assume for a second that he only played these tests, would we still not rate him amongst the all time greats? If the answer is that we would still rate Sachin as an all time great, then there is no point is suggesting that other greats who did not get the opportunity to play 200 tests are lesser batsmen. Celebrate Sachin but not at the expense of others.

    • Lets_Bash_Indians on November 18, 2013, 22:31 GMT

      @2nd_slip - bro You can keep your Jacques Kallis, We are Happy With our Sachin tendulkar. #peace

    • Shams on November 18, 2013, 22:17 GMT

      @CricketFan1113 Against a bowling attack where there was at least one bowler who went on to take 200 wickets in his career (i.e. some amount of minimum quality in the bowling attack): Lara (52.87 from 228 Inns), Dravid (52.52 from 227 Inns), Kallis (51.90 from 225 Inns), Tendulkar (51.42 from 266 Inns). Even if you average the ICC ratings (which takes opponent quality into account while rating players) over the career: Lara (avg 783.55), Sangakkara (747.03), Dravid (741.79, Ponting (736.86), Kallis (735.01), Pietersen (733.05), Tendulkar (732.33). This shows that some of the other batsmen have scored more 'valuable' runs as per ICCs ratings scheme. Stats source: testcricketstats

    • akpy on November 18, 2013, 22:03 GMT

      anoopshameed..thank you !! 2nd slip - Kallis is a remarkable cricketer, dont cry your heart out that he is not Indian - i am sure he is very proud and happy s.african legend, though you appear to be a sorry fan who is not content with liking Kallis but have to put down sachin.

    • Nampally on November 18, 2013, 21:57 GMT

      @2nd-slip: The Greatest Cricketers of all times is Gary Sobers. Kallis must be one of the greatest even for a south African, with Proctor & Richards in contention. Kallis is an All rounder whilst Tendulkar is a batsman. You are not comparing apples to apple, to start with. As a batsman, Tendulkar is way ahead of Kallis with an average of 62 vs. 50 of Kallis in 1993 to 2002 period, where both should have been at their peaks. Tendulkar has the Highest average vs. Aussies with 56 - Kallis does not appear amongst the top 10! I greatly admire Kallis as an all rounder & he is definitely the best of the present generation. His display has been a pleasure to watch as one of the best in the format. Indian crowds support Sachin for his sportsmanship & Humility + immense batting Talent. For Longevity in Cricket with so much wear & tear from 200 Tests + 453 international ODI's, No one matches SRT's record. His records are for posterity to beat. Kallis cannot boast of the similar records.

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 18, 2013, 21:52 GMT

      @wiiCricket: You must be out of your senses to be Indo-Pak centric when trying to analyze a batsman from either of these countries. For me an ideal and perfect batsman is the one who scores against different teams in different countries and different conditions/pitches. Tendulkar is the only batsman who excelled in all these criterias. Not even the great Don ... as he played only in England & Australia.

    • D.Sharma on November 18, 2013, 20:59 GMT

      Numbers don't mean a thing when you've never produced a match winning innings under immense pressure again and again. An overrated cricketer.

    • on November 18, 2013, 20:53 GMT

      Rajesh, I have noticed that the leading players of today, Clarke, Pieterson Cook Bell and such have played about 90+ tests. Can you please compare Sachin's Record the first half and the second half with these players. PLEASE.Thanks.

    • CherryWood_Champion on November 18, 2013, 20:04 GMT

      @Shan156: Hedley Verity a spinner took Bradman's wicket 8 times thrice clean bowling him and twice catching off his own bowling. He was one bowler against whom Don had no clue. In the 16 tests that they played together Verity conceded just 401 runs to Bradman and claimed his wicket 8 times, which meant Bradman could score only at half of his career average against Verity. That doesn`t mean we assume if Verity had played in all the ashes matches then Don's average may have lost some shine. ... Yes but that certainly brings up a valid argument as to how the great Don would have faired on turning tracks of the sub continent.

    • 2nd_Slip on November 18, 2013, 19:19 GMT

      If there's one thing that these stats prove is that JH Kallis is not only the best cricketer of his generation but one of the GREATEST CRICKETERS OF ALL TIME. He is the MVP of test cricket, way more than Sachin can ever be!! Yes i said it he is better than any of the players he has played with and by a huge margin, been bowling at +-140km/h for over ten years and scoring runs galore!!! Wonder how much hype would be waving around internet sites and TV stations if he had billion cricket loving patriotic Indian fans backing him like Sachin(Scary thought hey)

    • Shan156 on November 18, 2013, 18:13 GMT

      @Zuhaib Naqash, "best player"? how? "Best batsman"? maybe, although Don Bradman or Headley or Sobers or Pollock would have something to say about it. Cricket is a game of bat and ball, not just bat. There have been some really outstanding bowlers who have played the game and so it would be inane to call Sachin the best "player" to have played the game ever.

      And @Shams is right, Tendulkar's record against Aus. is indeed impressive but add Glenn McGrath to the mix and it is not that great. Mind you, it is still excellent but not *that* great. Similarly, James Anderson has had significant success against Tendulkar. With Anderson in the attack, Tendulkar has scored only 1 test century (the famous Chennai test in 2008-2009).

    • blthndr on November 18, 2013, 17:57 GMT

      it tells the whole story.....why he has to carry more expectations than anyone in the world...during those days (1993-2002) sachin is the only performer in the team and dats why we used to say "sachis hai kya(is sachin still there??)"..and mind it "the golden period for Dravid was to start from 2002".....so without sachin it would be horror show for indian cricket in those period atleast in overseas....

      "His masterpieces during that period included 122 at Edgbaston in 1996, 169 in Cape Town the following year, 113 in Wellington in 1998, 136 against Pakistan in Chennai in 1999, 116 against Australia in Melbourne later that year, and 155 in Bloemfontein in 2001. That India ended up losing all six of those matches was a reflection of the rest of the batsmen, and the Indian bowling attack, that Tendulkar had to play with and carry along."

    • CricketFan1113 on November 18, 2013, 17:44 GMT

      @Shams on (November 18, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

      "Against no team did he(SACHIN) average less than 42 - the lowest averages were against Pakistan (42.28) and South Africa (42.46)"

      Lara against India had scored 1002 runs in 17 matches averaging just 34.55. In those 17 matches, he had played only 3 matches in India where his avg is 33.

      Lara in home Matches 65 Runs 6217 Average 58.65 with 17 100s Lara in home(excluding India) Matches 51 Runs 5413 Avg 65.21 with 15 100s

      His avg shots up to 65.21. Home or away, he has clearly struggled against India

      Kallis struggledd against SL (38.86) and Sangakkara against England (35.02)

    • anoopshameed on November 18, 2013, 17:39 GMT

      An article of Sachin's stats-and all of us have started fighting, claiming why he is the best, or why he isn't? Personally, I think Sachin was never about numbers-we all would have still loved him even if he had achieved a lot less! After all, how many of us loves our parents, siblings and children just because they are the best in the world? We love them because they are ours and hence believe they are the best in the world! Likewise, Bradman may have been the best batsman ever, Kallis may overhauls Sachin's aggregates, Sangakkara may end up having a higher average and Rohit Sharma, like now, may end up having twice the average of Bradman! But Tendulkar will remain the most loved, adored and respected Cricketer in the World! No cricketer, from past or present, was celebrated by his country as India did of Sachin-and the World sat up and noticed-and joined in! Maybe, in future, somebody else will come along-till then, it will be Tendulkar-Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar!

    • doesitmatter on November 18, 2013, 17:16 GMT

      Sachin is beyond numbers...yeh it's true..

    • CricketFan1113 on November 18, 2013, 17:13 GMT

      @Shams on (November 18, 2013, 15:15 GMT) " Oh and btw, raw averages do not take quality of opposition (bowlers and pitch conditions) into account - so all these stats should be taken with a grain of salt!"

      LOOK AT 3RD PARA "Even more impressively, he(SACHIN) averaged at least 40 in every country he played in, unlike some of the other top batsmen who've had problems in at least one country. (Brian Lara averaged less than 40 in New Zealand(36.90) and India(33), Jacques Kallis in England(35.33) and Sri Lanka(35.33), Ricky Ponting in India(26.48)"

      For Kallis, the writer did not include Bangladesh where he averages just 31.50

      In India, Ponting had scored just 662 runs in 14 matches at an average of 26.48 with just 1 hundred clearly shows that he a failure in India

      Sangakkara averages less than 40 in England(30.58), India(36.50), South Africa(35.75) and West Indies(34)

    • on November 18, 2013, 16:51 GMT

      Sachin has scored more runs outside of India 8,705 compared to 7,216 at home i.e. 54% of his runs came abroad. Compare that to others and their runs scored abroad stands at Kallis and Lara 47%, Ponting 43% and Sangakkara 41%. Sachin was by far the best player.

    • on November 18, 2013, 16:38 GMT

      All have gone mad. Instead of taking stats you should have played the game and see live which player is better. Tendulkar is the best player to have ever played the game, see the videos of perfect technique and then see the videos of all the greats, you will come to a conclusion that sachin is the best.

    • wiiCricket on November 18, 2013, 16:16 GMT

      He was good against Australia - yes. But he was not so prolific (always) against Pakistan. Which to me is also where all the Indian and Pakistani batsmen should be measured due to the intensity of the matches and other pressures that builds around them. It brings the best and worst from any bowler and batsman. Not to undermine their talent but to highlight the importance and rigger that is required. Tendulkar averaged 36.42 against Pakistan in ODIs and merely 42.28 in Tests with a highest of 192 in their first ever Test Series win against Pakistan in Pakistan.

    • Leggie on November 18, 2013, 15:23 GMT

      Rajesh, would love to see Sachin's record against SA and Pakistan too - the next two excellent bowling attacks - and see where he stands compared to the others. Can you please publish that as well?

    • RKB21 on November 18, 2013, 15:16 GMT

      Excellent summary of Sachin's Test stats; this should address the uncertainties of a few of his detractors.

    • Shams on November 18, 2013, 15:15 GMT

      Against the top 8 Test teams (excluding Zim and Bd) Tendulkar's numbers lose a bit of their shine (avg 51.01); Sangakkara (53.29), Kallis (53.03), Lara (52.53) and Ponting (51.10) among others have higher averages. Regarding the 'At his best against the best' argument, with McGrath in the bowling attack averages are: Tendulkar (36.77 in 18 inns), Lara (46.38 in 46 inns), Kallis (40.47 in 27 inns), Laxman (44.57 in 19 inns). Oh and btw, raw averages do not take quality of opposition (bowlers and pitch conditions) into account - so all these stats should be taken with a grain of salt!

    • Shams on November 18, 2013, 15:15 GMT

      Against the top 8 Test teams (excluding Zim and Bd) Tendulkar's numbers lose a bit of their shine (avg 51.01); Sangakkara (53.29), Kallis (53.03), Lara (52.53) and Ponting (51.10) among others have higher averages. Regarding the 'At his best against the best' argument, with McGrath in the bowling attack averages are: Tendulkar (36.77 in 18 inns), Lara (46.38 in 46 inns), Kallis (40.47 in 27 inns), Laxman (44.57 in 19 inns). Oh and btw, raw averages do not take quality of opposition (bowlers and pitch conditions) into account - so all these stats should be taken with a grain of salt!

    • RKB21 on November 18, 2013, 15:16 GMT

      Excellent summary of Sachin's Test stats; this should address the uncertainties of a few of his detractors.

    • Leggie on November 18, 2013, 15:23 GMT

      Rajesh, would love to see Sachin's record against SA and Pakistan too - the next two excellent bowling attacks - and see where he stands compared to the others. Can you please publish that as well?

    • wiiCricket on November 18, 2013, 16:16 GMT

      He was good against Australia - yes. But he was not so prolific (always) against Pakistan. Which to me is also where all the Indian and Pakistani batsmen should be measured due to the intensity of the matches and other pressures that builds around them. It brings the best and worst from any bowler and batsman. Not to undermine their talent but to highlight the importance and rigger that is required. Tendulkar averaged 36.42 against Pakistan in ODIs and merely 42.28 in Tests with a highest of 192 in their first ever Test Series win against Pakistan in Pakistan.

    • on November 18, 2013, 16:38 GMT

      All have gone mad. Instead of taking stats you should have played the game and see live which player is better. Tendulkar is the best player to have ever played the game, see the videos of perfect technique and then see the videos of all the greats, you will come to a conclusion that sachin is the best.

    • on November 18, 2013, 16:51 GMT

      Sachin has scored more runs outside of India 8,705 compared to 7,216 at home i.e. 54% of his runs came abroad. Compare that to others and their runs scored abroad stands at Kallis and Lara 47%, Ponting 43% and Sangakkara 41%. Sachin was by far the best player.

    • CricketFan1113 on November 18, 2013, 17:13 GMT

      @Shams on (November 18, 2013, 15:15 GMT) " Oh and btw, raw averages do not take quality of opposition (bowlers and pitch conditions) into account - so all these stats should be taken with a grain of salt!"

      LOOK AT 3RD PARA "Even more impressively, he(SACHIN) averaged at least 40 in every country he played in, unlike some of the other top batsmen who've had problems in at least one country. (Brian Lara averaged less than 40 in New Zealand(36.90) and India(33), Jacques Kallis in England(35.33) and Sri Lanka(35.33), Ricky Ponting in India(26.48)"

      For Kallis, the writer did not include Bangladesh where he averages just 31.50

      In India, Ponting had scored just 662 runs in 14 matches at an average of 26.48 with just 1 hundred clearly shows that he a failure in India

      Sangakkara averages less than 40 in England(30.58), India(36.50), South Africa(35.75) and West Indies(34)

    • doesitmatter on November 18, 2013, 17:16 GMT

      Sachin is beyond numbers...yeh it's true..

    • anoopshameed on November 18, 2013, 17:39 GMT

      An article of Sachin's stats-and all of us have started fighting, claiming why he is the best, or why he isn't? Personally, I think Sachin was never about numbers-we all would have still loved him even if he had achieved a lot less! After all, how many of us loves our parents, siblings and children just because they are the best in the world? We love them because they are ours and hence believe they are the best in the world! Likewise, Bradman may have been the best batsman ever, Kallis may overhauls Sachin's aggregates, Sangakkara may end up having a higher average and Rohit Sharma, like now, may end up having twice the average of Bradman! But Tendulkar will remain the most loved, adored and respected Cricketer in the World! No cricketer, from past or present, was celebrated by his country as India did of Sachin-and the World sat up and noticed-and joined in! Maybe, in future, somebody else will come along-till then, it will be Tendulkar-Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar!

    • CricketFan1113 on November 18, 2013, 17:44 GMT

      @Shams on (November 18, 2013, 15:15 GMT)

      "Against no team did he(SACHIN) average less than 42 - the lowest averages were against Pakistan (42.28) and South Africa (42.46)"

      Lara against India had scored 1002 runs in 17 matches averaging just 34.55. In those 17 matches, he had played only 3 matches in India where his avg is 33.

      Lara in home Matches 65 Runs 6217 Average 58.65 with 17 100s Lara in home(excluding India) Matches 51 Runs 5413 Avg 65.21 with 15 100s

      His avg shots up to 65.21. Home or away, he has clearly struggled against India

      Kallis struggledd against SL (38.86) and Sangakkara against England (35.02)