Bradman v Headley, and Tharanga's tons
When Michael Vaughan was batting on 96 against West Indies at Headingley, he had 15 hundreds and 15 fifties to his name. A streaky four through the slips tilted the scales to 16 centuries and 14 half-centuries, putting him among the top ten batsmen with the best conversion rates. Although it had been two years since his last hundred - 166 against Australia at Old Trafford in 2005 - Vaughan played only nine innings during that period, a little higher than the average number of tries he needs to score a century.
The White Headley and the Black Bradman - Don Bradman and George Headley - have the best conversion rates in Test cricket. Bradman hit a century 29 out of the 42 times he went past fifty and Headley reached hundred ten out of the 15 times he scored a half-century. The two of them also have the highest frequency of centuries in Tests. Bradman hit his 29 centuries in 80 innings while Headley played 40 innings for his ten hundreds.
While Bradman stays on top of the table for the highest frequency of fifties, Headley drops to 20th in that table. Second spot is occupied by Michael Hussey who has scored eight fifties and five hundreds in 26 innings. And remember Asim Kamal? He began his Test career with 99 against South Africa and scored seven more fifties in 19 innings. However, he hasn't played a Test since England toured Pakistan in 2005.
|DG Bradman (Aus)||1928-1948||52||80||6996||334||99.94||29||13||0.362|
|GA Headley (WI)||1930-1954||22||40||2190||270*||60.83||10||5||0.250|
|CL Walcott (WI)||1948-1960||44||74||3798||220||56.68||15||14||0.202|
|JF Reid (NZ)||1979-1986||19||31||1296||180||46.28||6||2||0.193|
|MEK Hussey (Aus)||2005-2007||16||26||1597||182||79.85||5||8||0.192|
|VG Kambli (India)||1993-1995||17||21||1084||227||54.20||4||3||0.190|
|H Sutcliffe (Eng)||1924-1935||54||84||4555||194||60.73||16||23||0.190|
|ED Weekes (WI)||1948-1958||48||81||4455||207||58.61||15||19||0.185|
|Mohammad Yousuf (Pak)||1998-2007||75||126||6553||223||56.00||23||27||0.182|
|RT Ponting (Aus)||1995-2007||110||183||9368||257||59.29||33||36||0.180|
Click here for the best ratios of fifties to innings played in Tests.
The batsman with the second best conversion rate in ODIs has played only 86 matches spanning ten years, hasn't played a World Cup and isn't close to being selected for his country at present. VVS Laxman has reached hundred six out of the 16 times he's passed fifty, putting him in second place behind Upul Tharanga.
Tharanga has six hundreds and eight fifties in 54 innings and not only has the best conversion rate at the moment but also the second highest frequency of scoring hundreds. In fact he scored his six centuries in his first 29 innings but hasn't crossed three figures since the Champions Trophy in October 2006.
|Zaheer Abbas (Pak)||1974-1985||62||60||2572||123||47.62||7||13||0.116|
|KP Pietersen (Eng/ICC)||2004-2007||51||45||2026||116||56.27||5||14||0.111|
|WU Tharanga (SL)||2005-2007||57||54||1819||120||33.68||6||8||0.111|
|SR Tendulkar (India)||1989-2007||384||374||14847||186*||44.05||41||77||0.109|
|ME Trescothick (Eng)||2000-2006||123||122||4335||137||37.37||12||21||0.098|
|G Gambhir (India)||2003-2007||21||21||602||103||28.66||2||2||0.095|
|CH Gayle (ICC/WI)||1999-2007||168||165||5924||153*||37.97||15||30||0.090|
|RL Taylor (NZ)||2006-2007||24||22||706||128*||33.61||2||3||0.090|
|CG Greenidge (WI)||1975-1991||128||127||5134||133*||45.03||11||31||0.086|
|Saleem Elahi (Pak)||1995-2004||48||47||1579||135||36.72||4||9||0.085|
Click here for the best ratios of fifties to innings played in ODIs.
Kevin Pietersen burst into the limelight with three hundreds and three half-centuries in his first ten innings after which he suffered a century drought which lasted 31 innings. He passed fifty 11 times during that period but his inability to reach hundred severely affected his conversion rate which is around 26%.
The list of players who've taken ten wickets in a match most often, is dominated by bowlers who thrived on uncovered pitches before World War II. But as you scroll down, in ninth place is Muttiah Muralitharan with a whopping 19 ten-wicket hauls in 110 Tests. Shane Warne is second with ten in 145 Tests and, among the current bowlers, Anil Kumble is closest to Murali with nine ten-wicket hauls. Murali also has 57 five-wicket hauls in an innings which means he takes a five-for in every other match.
|T Richardson (Eng)||1893-1898||14||4498||2220||88||8/94||25.22||11||4||0.285|
|GA Lohmann (Eng)||1886-1896||18||3830||1205||112||9/28||10.75||9||5||0.277|
|SF Barnes (Eng)||1901-1914||27||7873||3106||189||9/103||16.43||24||7||0.259|
|AP Freeman (Eng)||1924-1929||12||3732||1707||66||7/71||25.86||5||3||0.250|
|FR Spofforth (Aus)||1877-1887||18||4185||1731||94||7/44||18.41||7||4||0.222|
|C Blythe (Eng)||1901-1910||19||4546||1863||100||8/59||18.63||9||4||0.210|
|CV Grimmett (Aus)||1925-1936||37||14513||5231||216||7/40||24.21||21||7||0.189|
|RG Holland (Aus)||1984-1986||11||2889||1352||34||6/54||39.76||3||2||0.181|
|M Muralitharan (ICC/SL)||1992-2006||110||36705||14649||674||9/51||21.73||57||19||0.172|
|H Ironmonger (Aus)||1928-1933||14||4695||1330||74||7/23||17.97||4||2||0.142|
Click here for the best ratios of five-fors to Tests played.
Shane Bond, when he isn't injured, has managed to take six four-wicket hauls and four five-fors in just 67 matches, putting him in second spot in both our tables. Waqar Younis is the only bowler with over 200 ODIs to appear in the list below, which is a testament to his striking-ability and to how difficult it is to sustain such performances over a long career.
|BA Williams (Aus)||2002-2004||25||1203||814||35||5/22||23.25||1||2||0.080|
|SE Bond (NZ)||2002-2007||67||3446||2416||125||6/19||19.32||6||4||0.059|
|VC Drakes (WI)||1995-2004||34||1640||1293||51||5/33||25.35||3||2||0.058|
|VJ Marks (Eng)||1980-1988||34||1838||1135||44||5/20||25.79||0||2||0.058|
|SB O'Connor (NZ)||1997-2000||38||1487||1396||46||5/39||30.34||1||2||0.052|
|RDM Leverock (Ber)||2006-2007||20||1027||727||21||5/53||34.61||0||1||0.050|
|Waqar Younis (Pak)||1989-2003||262||12698||9919||416||7/36||23.84||14||13||0.049|
|MS Kasprowicz (Aus)||1995-2005||43||2225||1674||67||5/45||24.98||1||2||0.046|
|M Hendrick (Eng)||1973-1981||22||1248||681||35||5/31||19.45||2||1||0.045|
|FH Edwards (WI)||2003-2006||23||1077||839||26||6/22||32.26||0||1||0.043|
Click here for the best ratios of four-fors to ODIs played.
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Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is an editorial assistant on Cricinfo