Who are the champions?
Some statistics, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Gavaskar made, are known to pretty much every cricket buff. But The List will bring you facts and figures that aren't so obvious, adding fuel to those fiery debates about the most valuable middle-order bat, and the most useless tailender. If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.
Which is cricket's greatest team? Don Bradman's Invincibles, Clive Lloyd's West Indies or Steve Waugh's Australia?. This debate has been worn thin over the years and this week The List gives it a different spin by looking at players who have played in the most Test wins.
Waugh, who also featured among players involved in the most Test losses, has played in a massive 86 Test wins, 11 clear of Shane Warne. That Waugh and seven of his key players populate the top twenty - not including Mark Waugh and Michael Slater, who did not play majority of their careers under him - is the first step in the argument for Waugh's side being the best. Only four of Clive Lloyd's West Indians - Viv Richards, Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes and Jeff Dujon - feature in the list. You might argue that the Invincibles did not play enough. A sound argument indeed.
|SR Waugh (Aust)||1985-2004||168||86||36||6460||69.46||31||29.25|
|SK Warne (Aust)||1992-2005||129||77||26||1484||17.45||437||21.48|
|GD McGrath (Aust)||1993-2005||113||74||20||385||7.70||373||18.58|
|ME Waugh (Aust)||1991-2002||128||72||27||4794||48.91||23||47.52|
|IVA Richards (WI)||1974-1991||121||63||19||4300||52.43||9||63.11|
|RT Ponting (Aust)||1995-2005||94||63||15||5074||61.13||2||58.50|
|DL Haynes (WI)||1978-1994||116||60||15||4041||45.92||0||-|
|JL Langer (Aust)||1993-2005||94||60||17||4640||49.89||0||-|
|CG Greenidge (WI)||1974-1991||108||57||14||4653||54.74||0||-|
|IA Healy (Aust)||1988-1999||119||55||29||2135||33.35||0||-|
|AC Gilchrist (Aust)||1999-2005||74||54||10||3624||63.57||0||-|
|CA Walsh (WI)||1984-2001||132||52||43||345||8.21||239||19.72|
|MA Taylor (Aust)||1989-1999||104||52||20||3812||45.92||0||-|
|AR Border (Aust)||1978-1994||156||50||46||3186||51.38||18||21.11|
|ML Hayden (Aust)||1994-2005||73||49||14||4160||56.98||0||-|
|G Kirsten (SAf)||1993-2004||101||48||23||3800||51.35||1||18.00|
|JN Gillespie (Aust)||1996-2005||69||45||15||567||17.18||189||22.12|
|PJL Dujon (WI)||1981-1991||81||44||12||1758||33.80||0||-|
|CEL Ambrose (WI)||1988-2000||98||44||26||588||12.51||229||16.86|
|MJ Slater (Aust)||1993-2001||74||44||17||3508||51.58||0||-|
This brings us to the players with the highest percentage of wins over their career. While almost the whole of Waugh's team appears in the top 20, there are only three of Bradman's Invincibles - Lindsay Hassett, Bill Johnston and Ian Johnson - and none of Lloyd's men. And for the record, Australia under Waugh won a whopping 71.9% of their Tests while the figures for Lloyd's West Indies and Bradman's Australia are 48.6% and 62.5%. Perhaps the opposition has weakened over the decades. Rashid Latif was a surprise entry as high as No. 5, but even though he was in and out of the Pakistan side later in his career, he played a large number of his Tests during their outstanding run after winning the 1992 World Cup.
|DS Lehmann (Aust)||1998-2004||27||22||2||3||81.48|
|AC Gilchrist (Aust)||1999-2005||74||54||10||10||72.97|
|B Lee (Aust)||1999-2005||43||31||6||6||72.09|
|RA Harper (WI)||1983-1993||25||17||2||6||68.00|
|Rashid Latif (Pak)||1992-2003||37||25||8||4||67.57|
|ML Hayden (Aust)||1994-2005||73||49||14||10||67.12|
|RT Ponting (Aust)||1995-2005||94||63||15||16||67.02|
|GD McGrath (Aust)||1993-2005||113||74||20||19||65.49|
|JN Gillespie (Aust)||1996-2005||69||45||15||9||65.22|
|SCG MacGill (Aust)||1998-2005||34||22||6||6||64.71|
|JL Langer (Aust)||1993-2005||94||60||17||17||63.83|
|TT Samaraweera (SL)||2001-2005||30||19||5||6||63.33|
|WA Johnston (Aust)||1947-1955||40||25||8||7||62.50|
|DR Martyn (Aust)||1992-2005||61||38||10||13||62.30|
|IWG Johnson (Aust)||1946-1956||45||28||7||10||62.22|
|C Kelleway (Aust)||1910-1928||26||16||7||3||61.54|
|SJ Harmison (Eng/ICC)||2002-2005||36||22||7||7||61.11|
|H Carter (Aust)||1907-1921||28||17||7||4||60.71|
|AL Hassett (Aust)||1938-1953||43||26||5||12||60.47|
|SK Warne (Aust)||1992-2005||129||77||26||26||59.69|
Looking at the best batsmen in Test wins, Bradman is peerless with a mind-boggling average of 130.08 (he averages a comparatively paltry 43.27 in lost Tests). Inzamam-ul-Haq (80.83) and Rahul Dravid (79.51) have fantastic averages in Tests their teams have won: an indicator of how crucial their form was to the fortune of the team. It's quite revealing that Sachin Tendulkar, who made his Test debut seven years before Dravid, has played in just eight more Test wins than Dravid's 30. Significantly, none of the batsmen in Waugh's team feature in the top ten - Australia did not depend primarily on the form of a particular player.
|DG Bradman (Aust)||1929-1948||30||43||4813||299*||130.08||23|
|R Dravid (India)||1996-2005||30||47||3101||270||79.51||9|
|KC Sangakkara (SL)||2000-2005||22||29||2017||270||77.57||7|
|GS Sobers (WI)||1956-1974||31||46||3097||365*||77.42||12|
|Younis Khan (Pak)||2000-2005||16||27||1788||267||74.50||7|
|FMM Worrell (WI)||1948-1963||18||26||1483||261||74.15||3|
|GC Smith (SAf)||2002-2005||20||29||1896||259||72.92||9|
|GS Chappell (Aust)||1972-1984||38||62||3595||204||70.49||14|
|WR Hammond (Eng)||1927-1946||29||44||2584||251||69.83||10|
If there's a particular List that you would like to see, e-mail us with your comments and suggestions.
George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo