Rags to riches
Some stats, like Bradman's average and the number of centuries Tendulkar has 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.
Last week, The List looked at players who became cricketing giants after ploughing through relatively mediocre starts to their careers. This week we look at the one-day equivalent.
Before the 1995-96 season, you wouldn't have lost sleep over having to bowl Sanath Jayasuriya the next day. Unless you are Richard de Groen. Batting in the lower-middle order, Jayasuriya took 30 matches to get his average permanently out of single digits and 70 matches to score his first century. He chose the perfect stage to explode, the 1996 World Cup. Until then, he still averaged below 20 but in that tournament, he averaged 36.83 and that, coupled with a strike rate of 131.54, made him lethal. But Jayasuriya had only continued what Romesh Kaluwitharana had started in Australia a few months earlier. Kaluwithara's career stats may not be too flash but he had a strike rate of 91 in the Benson and Hedges series in 1995-96 and it was his impish and swashbuckling hitting that set the tone for what was to follow in the World Cup.
For someone who has more than doubled Desmond Haynes's then world record of 17 centuries, Sachin Tendulkar's first hundred took 79 matches to arrive. He started his career with two ducks and then went on to average around 30 for a good number of games, satisfactory for a middle-order batsman but hardly the stuff of legends. Perhaps the turning point of Tendulkar's one-day career came when Navjot Sidhu was sidelined with a neck strain. Tendulkar was asked to fill in as opener against New Zealand at Dunedin. The 49-ball 82 that followed marked the start of a prolific career at the top of the order.
|DR Martyn (Aust)||1992-2005||18||276||51*||17.25||0||4691||41.88||24.63|
|ST Jayasuriya (Asia/SL)||1989-2005||17||143||31||8.41||0||10207||31.79||23.38|
|CH Gayle (ICC/WI)||1999-2005||19||331||58*||18.38||0||4416||38.73||20.34|
|Saleem Malik (Pak)||1982-1999||18||230||41||12.77||0||7170||32.88||20.11|
|ME Waugh (Aust)||1988-2002||19||404||67||23.76||0||8500||39.35||15.58|
|SB Styris (NZ)||1999-2005||14||178||43||13.69||0||2320||29.00||15.30|
|Javed Miandad (Pak)||1975-1996||19||423||77*||26.43||0||7381||41.70||15.26|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||1989-2005||19||492||62||28.94||0||13909||44.01||15.07|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||1974-1992||15||184||39||18.39||0||3709||33.41||15.01|
|Shoaib Malik (Pak)||1999-2005||11||145||44||18.12||0||2631||32.88||14.76|
Muttiah Muralitharan, the man most likely to be the first to take 1000 international wickets, had mediocre starts to both forms of the game. After 30 ODIs , Murali had just 30 wickets at an expensive 37.36 apiece. It was then that Murali toured Australia in 1995-96 and was called for throwing by the umpires. In the 30 games beginning with the triangular series in Australia, Murali took 47 wickets at an astounding average of 23.42. He hasn't looked back since.
Richard Hadlee had an unhappy first few ODIs as well. With just seven wickets in his first ten games, Hadlee averaged in the early forties. He soon got into his stride after the 1975 World Cup and repaired his average steadily to finish with 158 wickets at 21.56.
|SB Styris (NZ)||1999-2005||890||16||4/57||47.06||0||103||30.65||-16.41|
|M Muralitharan (Asia/ICC/SL)||1993-2005||1014||18||2/6||38.77||0||392||22.39||-16.38|
|RJ Hadlee (NZ)||1973-1990||1168||19||2/20||35.26||0||158||21.56||-13.69|
|A Kumble (Asia/India)||1990-2005||1146||17||4/50||43.82||0||329||30.76||-13.05|
|CH Gayle (ICC/WI)||1999-2005||709||12||2/18||40.66||0||100||31.53||-9.13|
|M Prabhakar (India)||1984-1996||852||14||4/19||37.35||0||157||28.87||-8.47|
|Azhar Mahmood (Pak)||1996-2005||825||14||3/34||46.50||0||122||38.86||-7.63|
|GP Wickramasinghe (SL)||1990-2002||895||14||2/29||45.64||0||109||39.64||-6.00|
|SP O'Donnell (Aust)||1985-1991||1047||22||2/19||34.63||0||108||28.72||-5.91|
|GD McGrath (Aust/ICC)||1993-2005||1073||24||4/24||28.00||0||327||22.21||-5.78|
Ajit Agarkar was a one-day sensation when he first made the international stage. He was the fastest to 50 wickets, performing the feat in just 23 matches. Normalcy soon ensued and though he continued to take wickets frequently enough, they came at a high price. Agarkar's strike rate at present is an extremely impressive 32 but is offset by a poor economy rate of 5.10.
Shane Warne, unlike Anil Kumble and Murali, had a marvellous start in one-day cricket. He preyed on New Zealand and South Africa, not the most renowned players of spin, in the tri-series in 1994-95 and snared 22 wickets in just 10 games at 13.68 apiece.
Ian Bishop made his debut in 1988 and at the time, he was just another incredible fast bowler that West Indies were blessed with. But in 1993, a stress fracture of the back sidelined him for two years and then its recurrence eventually ended his career. In 53 matches before his injury, Bishop took 88 wickets at an average of just 21.29. In his first 18 Tests, he took 83 wickets at just 20.45 apiece. If his performance before his injury was anything to go by, Bishop was destined for greatness until fate dealt a cruel blow.
|CZ Harris (NZ)||1990-2004||894||24||3/15||27.87||0||203||37.50||9.62|
|HDPK Dharmasena (SL)||1994-2004||906||25||4/37||27.19||0||138||36.21||9.01|
|SK Warne (Aust/ICC)||1993-2005||1074||38||4/19||17.23||0||293||25.73||8.50|
|M Dillon (WI)||1997-2005||1039||32||4/20||24.50||0||130||32.44||7.94|
|PAJ DeFreitas (Eng)||1987-1997||1165||26||4/35||25.07||0||115||32.82||7.74|
|CEL Ambrose (WI)||1988-2000||1085||41||5/17||16.48||2||225||24.12||7.64|
|IR Bishop (WI)||1988-1997||1087||37||5/27||19.37||1||118||26.50||7.12|
|CL Hooper (WI)||1987-2003||564||16||3/27||29.50||0||193||36.05||6.55|
|AB Agarkar (India)||1998-2005||1068||44||4/35||21.22||0||232||27.26||6.03|
|RA Harper (WI)||1983-1996||1032||24||3/34||28.29||0||100||34.31||6.01|
|IVA Richards (WI)||1975-1991||19||971||153*||74.69||3||6721||47.00||-27.69|
|JC Adams (WI)||1992-2001||12||275||81*||55.00||0||2204||28.62||-26.37|
|M Kaif (India)||2002-2005||15||563||111*||56.29||1||2431||35.23||-21.06|
|AL Logie (WI)||1981-1993||13||298||88||49.66||0||2809||28.95||-20.70|
|GS Chappell (Aust)||1971-1983||20||843||125*||56.20||1||2331||40.18||-16.01|
|MG Bevan (Aust)||1994-2004||18||621||78*||69.00||0||6912||53.58||-15.41|
|JG Wright (NZ)||1978-1992||20||745||81||39.21||0||3891||26.46||-12.74|
|CL Hooper (WI)||1987-2003||17||432||113*||48.00||1||5761||35.34||-12.65|
|SM Pollock (Afr/ICC/SAf)||1996-2005||12||180||66*||36.00||0||2556||24.34||-11.65|
|AC Parore (NZ)||1992-2002||16||476||96||36.61||0||3314||25.68||-10.92|
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