September 4, 2009

The decade of the batsmen

With several top bowlers retiring, the 2000s has truly been the decade in which batsmen have made merry
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In his From the Editor blog post last week, Sambit Bal raised the issue of batting averages being devalued in the 21st century. The example was that of Thilan Samaraweera, who averages 51.87 after 54 Tests, but the point was a more generic one: after the exits of Walsh and Ambrose, Wasim and Waqar, Donald and Pollock, McGrath and Gillespie, life has become much easier for batsmen around the world. Some of those bowlers played well into the 2000s, but with pitches easing up and other weaker teams coming into the fray, this decade has generally been an excellent one for batting. Once upon a time, an average of 50 used to be the benchmark of batting excellence; now, it seems, that's no longer true.

The tables below examine the batting averages of the specialists (Nos. 1 to 7 in the line-up) by decade, starting from the 1930s. It's clear from the numbers that the current decade has been a prolific one for batting, with an average of 38.22 runs per wicket. Only in the 1940s were the averages higher. The 1990s, on the other hand, was among the worst decades for batting - the average of 35.34 was the second-worst in the last eight decades.

In the 2000s there has been a century scored every 12.25 innings by a top-order batsman (892 hundreds in 10,927 innings), a rate that has been bettered, again, only in the 1940s. In the 1990s only 537 hundreds were scored in 8264 innings, a 25% drop on the conversion-rate in the current decade.

Batting averages of the top seven batsmen by decade
Decade Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Inngs per 100
1930s 89 71,474 37.38 158/ 324 13.12
1940s 45 39,444 41.13 103/ 178 10.20
1950s 164 118,135 32.42 229/ 551 17.09
1960s 186 153,494 36.36 290/ 802 15.74
1970s 198 163,518 36.72 357/ 805 13.50
1980s 266 201,672 35.86 434/ 965 14.15
1990s 347 268,662 35.34 537/ 1376 15.39
2000s 452 385,326 38.22 892/ 1801 12.25

Do the numbers change significantly if Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are removed from the mix? It turns out that the average runs per wicket increases marginally - from 38.22 to 38.95 - if they are. This suggests that the poor scores by the batsmen of these teams generally more than compensates for the high scores of the opposition (and it also matters that the opposition often play one innings in a match while these teams play two).

However, the average increases to 40.35 when considering batsmen from only the top eight teams, against all opposition (including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe). That's obviously due to the number of runs batsmen helped themselves to against the weak attacks of these two teams.

Top seven batsmen in the 2000s
  Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Inngs per 100
Top eight teams against each other 354 312,265 38.95 735/ 1474 11.82
Top eight teams against all opposition 444 351,668 40.35 859/ 1631 11.06

And now for a quiz question: what's common to the following batsmen - Andy Flower, Mohammad Yousuf, Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Kumar Sangakkara, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mahela Jayawardene, Brian Lara, Hashan Tillakaratne, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Graham Thorpe, Steve Waugh, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Matthew Hayden, Sachin Tendulkar, Michael Hussey, Thilan Samaraweera, Graeme Smith, Younis Khan and Virender Sehwag? Answer: they're all batsmen who've played at least 30 innings in this decade and have a Test average of more than 50 during this period.

Count the names and you'll realise there are 21 - more than there are on the ICC's longlist for their 2009 awards. In all, 114 batsmen have batted more than 30 innings in the top seven during this decade, which means more than 18% of all specialist batsmen have averaged more than 50 during this period. It's an incredibly high number (do they all merit the "great" tag being thrust upon them?), especially when compared to the decade immediately before: in the 1990s only five out of 94 batsmen achieved this feat. If you want to test yourself, you could take a moment, try and guess those five names, and then click here to check how many you got right. I'll bet you didn't get all five.

Decade-wise stats for batsmen in top seven (Qual: 30 innings in top 7 in the decade)
Decade Tot. no. of batsmen Average >= 50 Percentage
2000s 114 21 18.42
1990s 94 5 5.32
1980s 69 5 7.25
1970s 55 6 10.91
1960s 51 7 13.73
1950s 44 5 11.36

And a quick check on what those numbers for this decade look like if Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are excluded from the list. The change, it turns out, is minimal: with the same cut-off, 19 out of 105 batsmen have averaged more than 50 during this decade, a percentage of 18.10.

Fifty-plus averages since 2000 (Qual: 30 innings in the top seven)
Opposition Tot. no.of batsmen Average >=50 Percentage
All opposition 114 21 18.42
Excl. B'desh and Zim 105 19 18.10

And before looking at the batsmen who've cashed in in the 2000s, here's a quick glance at the highly rated ones who fell short of the magical 50-mark in the 1990s. Among the big names who didn't make the cut are Dravid, Ponting, Allan Border, Inzamam and Kallis. Some of them were in the initial stages of the career - Ponting, Dravid and Kallis had all played less than 45 Tests at the time - and blossomed into consistent run-machines only in this decade. Inzamam had played 58 Tests, but his time would come later. Dravid fell just two runs short of averaging 50, while his middle-order mate Sourav Ganguly missed out by a whisker too, averaging 49.63.

Dravid does average more than 50 in the 2000s, but only when you take into account his averages against Bangladesh (70.16 in five Tests) and Zimbabwe (102.12 in eight). Exclude those games and his average in this decade drops to 49.90. Given all his achievements, especially in match-winning causes overseas, it would be a harsh call not to include him among the greats, though - only 13 more runs against the top eight teams would have lifted his average from 49.90 to 50.

Dravid is one of five batsmen whose average in this decade drops to below 50 when excluding games against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Samaraweera is another - he averages 46.98 against the other teams, and so too are Tendulkar and Steve Waugh. Tendulkar has averaged 46.73 against the top eight teams, but an average of 139 in five Tests against Bangladesh and 101.87 in six against Zimbabwe pushes his overall average for the decade up to 52.91. Similarly, Waugh's average of 47.64 against the top eight converts into an overall decade average of 53.30, thanks to his record against Bangladesh (256 runs without being dismissed) and Zimbabwe (average of 69.50 in two Tests).

On the other hand, there are three batsmen - Justin Langer, VVS Laxman and Michael Clarke - whose averages go up from sub-50 to 50-plus when excluding performances against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Langer averaged 36 against Bangladesh and 12 against Zimbabwe, while the corresponding numbers for Laxman are 20.50 and 40, while Clarke has averaged 25.50 in two Tests against Bangladesh (he hasn't played Zimbabwe yet).

Kevin Pietersen is one of the few top names who misses out on a 50-plus average for the decade so far - he averages 49.96, three runs short of the 50 mark.

Top batsmen in the 2000s (Qual: at least 30 innings in the top seven)
Batsman Runs (all teams) Average 100s/ 50s Runs (top 8 teams) Average 100s/ 50s
Andy Flower 2206 63.02 6/ 11 1968 61.50 5/ 10
Mohammad Yousuf 6126 60.05 23/ 20 5401 55.68 20/ 17
Ricky Ponting 9253 59.31 32/ 38 8634 58.33 30/ 34
Jacques Kallis 8428 58.93 26/ 41 7611 55.55 23/ 38
Kumar Sangakkara 7283 55.59 20/ 32 5871 51.95 16/ 26
Inzamam-ul-Haq 4978 54.70 17/ 22 4455 53.03 14/ 22
Mahela Jayawardene 7814 54.64 24/ 30 6650 52.77 19/ 27
Brian Lara 6366 54.41 21/ 19 5971 53.79 19/ 18
Hashan Tillakaratne 1573 54.24 5/ 4 1404 56.16 5/ 3
Gautam Gambhir 2271 54.07 6/ 10 1953 51.39 5/ 9
Rahul Dravid 8125 53.45 20/ 41 6887 49.90 16/ 35
Graham Thorpe 3145 53.30 10/ 15 2901 51.80 10/ 12
Steve Waugh 2825 53.30 11/ 9 2430 47.64 9/ 7
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 6342 53.29 19/ 34 5936 55.47 18/ 33
Matthew Hayden 8364 52.93 29/ 29 7507 50.38 26/ 26
Sachin Tendulkar 6932 52.91 20/ 30 5561 46.73 14/ 28
Michael Hussey 3317 52.65 10/ 16 3075 51.25 9/ 16
Thilan Samaraweera 3673 51.01 10/ 19 2819 46.98 8/ 12
Graeme Smith 6272 50.17 18/ 24 5367 47.07 14/ 23
Younis Khan 5260 50.09 16/ 21 5007 51.09 15/ 20
Virender Sehwag 5757 50.06 15/ 18 5558 50.52 15/ 17
Justin Langer 5994 48.73 18/ 21 5864 50.55 18/ 20
VVS Laxman 6115 49.71 14/ 34 5794 50.82 13/ 34
Michael Clarke 3645 49.93 12/ 15 3550 51.44 12/ 15

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY melvn on | September 11, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    Ponting is definitely a heavy run scorer ,but it doesnt mean that he is the greatest of the batters. What happened to him when he played for kokatta knight riders?(even though it was T20) He couldnt perform well as the whole team was struggling. I would tell you this was the great threat for Sachin and Lara in their whole carrier.They were carrying the pressure of the whole team and the nation single handedly in their shoulders. It was sachin who carried India & Lara who carried the Windies, but for ponting it was in the other way, it was the Aussies who carried Ponting.Ponting was nowwhere in the frame the upto the period of 2002 .After that they were the best team in the world and also there were great players like Mcgrath,Warne, Steve waugh,Hayden, Brett lee and good players like Langer ,Martin,hussey symonds. So the pressure on ponting was very less , when compared to that of sachin or Lara.So I would put Sachin and Lara very much above than Ponting.

  • POSTED BY RakeshKumarNoida on | September 11, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    See, Sachin is Sachin... Ponting always gets benefit of top scoring of Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Damyn Martin while Sachin usually comes at a score of 6-2, 10-2, 20-2, 30-2 and something like this. Bowlers still feel fresh while Ponting came when the Score reach usually on 80-1, 100-1, 150-1, 200-1 without any pressure that after him there are more good quality batsmen to follow... While there were always pressure on Sachin to see the lineup after him... Can anybody denied this?

  • POSTED BY Gopes_On_Dopes on | September 8, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    Like any other discussion on batsmen, this one has also turned into Tendulkar v Ponting! Ponting is a very good attacking batsman, but why do we have to compare him to the greats like Tendulkar and Lara? Just take a stat for eg. For any batsman from the subcontinent the real test is on the seaming wickets in England, the bouncy ones in South Africa (taking into consideration batsmen since the 90s) and the ones in Australia where one would encounter everything from seam and swing in Gabba to spin in Sydney to extreme bounce at the WACA. Simlarily a batsmen from outside the subcontinent has to counter the low and slow wickets in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (esp.) to be even thought of as a great. Check out Tendulkar's stats in Aus, Eng and SA combined and check the corresponding numbers for Ponting in the subcontinent. The difference is stark!!

  • POSTED BY qalandar4 on | September 8, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    The injuries should be factored in for Tendulkar, because, over the last two years (i.e. since his most recent operation), even when minnows are excluded, he averages over 50: http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=default;spanmax1=1+Aug++2009;spanmin1=1+Jan+2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround It doesn't seem credible that he is able to do at 35 what he was unable to do at 32-33. Aside: I completely agree that Younis Khan is unfairly derided by far too many. He has been a valuable run scorer for Pakistan in test matches (it's not just about the averages -- he averaged in the 40s on the last Pak. tour of Australia; in the context of the team's batting failures on that tour, that was actually pretty good). The wider point: it's far more difficult to maintain a high average on a poor team (which is why George Headley reportedly bristled at being called the "Black Bradman"; he said Bradman should be called the "White Headley")

  • POSTED BY suresh.t on | September 8, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    Most players are at their best in 'home conditions' and it's no wonder ponting scored heavily in such conditions...a batsman's true test is in playing against quality attack under alien conditions and here's where sachin scores over ponting...more runs in Australia against a very good attack than Ponting in India against a very good attack. And the same argument holds, when we say 'Ponting scores heavily in SA'. Is there any other way to look at this? Wake up people. I am not saying Ponting is 'not great'. But please do not compare him with Sachin, the best batsman that ever was, is and will be!

  • POSTED BY ilamdream on | September 8, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    Hello Cricinfo..to take these debates further, can you do an article on the Greatest Matchwinner of all time. I'm a fan of Indian cricket but I would really like to see who has been the Impact player in the last 2 or 3 decades.

  • POSTED BY CricFan24 on | September 8, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    Wonderfull!! as someone said even after 20 yrs no cricket discussion can ever be complete without the great tendulkar. if you notice almost every single comment mentions tendulkar- without a trace of doubt the greatest batsman the world has ever seen

  • POSTED BY mr.cruizy on | September 8, 2009, 0:01 GMT

    guys..whats all this fuss around ..don't you guys see the stats.they speak for themselves i guess..and the THREE STANDOUT BATSMEN of the decade are:: Mohammad Yousuf 6126 60.05 23/ 20 5401 55.68 20/ 17 Ricky Ponting 9253 59.31 32/ 38 8634 58.33 30/ 34 Jacques Kallis 8428 58.93 26/ 41 7611 55.55 23/ 38

    if u r good at reading stats and sitation in which these batsmen played ( and i ll personally give to Mohammad Yosaf because he didnt play test cricket for more than an year which means ATLEAST 10 test matches and who knows how many would have he scored as we all know what a batsman he is )...

    ricky ponting is a fine example of a leader..attacking..marvellous and outstanding on counter attack..good on both spinning and bouncy tracks...and jacques kallis is no doubt a class act considering the fact thaat he bowls in the same test in which he scores his centry or so..

    so stop it already and lets give a huge applause :)

  • POSTED BY ConanThebarbarian on | September 7, 2009, 23:56 GMT

    Prasanth put it beautifully - even after 20 yrs every cricket discussion needs to talk abt Sachin to keep goin !! Stats r a good measure of a players profile but they can be filtered to show watever aspect we wanna highlight. Lara avged 35 agnt India and 41 agnt NZ and never scored a 100 against W's or Donald. Punter averages 20 in India which is not even average but tailendersque- Sachin avg 58 in Aus and no less than 40 in any of the countries. Ricky averages 44 n 48 in Eng and against Eng compared to SRTs 62 n 62 and Eng bowling attack s been equally good n in cases even better than Pak's dis decade. Per this article Sachin avged 58 compared to Pontings 46 in tougher conditions for batsman. Warne avged 47 agnt the best batting line up against Spin n i can hardly remember one spell worthy of mention against the Indians. So was he a average bowler cos he failed agnt the best? Leave Sachin alone guys - Don said Sachin s best n i dont think anyone else knows abt batting better than Don!

  • POSTED BY Neil247 on | September 7, 2009, 16:33 GMT

    Some super comments below. Most relevant of which: 1) Till 2003: The big 3 :SRT 8811@ 57.6 31 hun, BCL 7572@49.5 18 hun; Pont 4246 @ 48.8 14 hun. 2)Any and all cricket roads lead to the one and only Tendulkar. 3)From 2003-07 just about ALL batsmen had their best years. Perhaps the easiest years for batting in cricket history. Just the greatest of them all missed out due to injuries. Infact we may well have missed out on the best of Tendulkar-incredible tho that may seem! 4)Against the best team of the last 20 years(AUS) : Tendulkar 2748@56.1,10 100s.( including the best in Aus itself!!) the best record by any modern player against the best modern team of the era- some minnow bashing!ha!. Including ODIs too!! All in all, as so many ppl have said that without the slightest shade of doubt SACHIN TENDULKAR is the greatest batsman of all time.

  • POSTED BY melvn on | September 11, 2009, 10:43 GMT

    Ponting is definitely a heavy run scorer ,but it doesnt mean that he is the greatest of the batters. What happened to him when he played for kokatta knight riders?(even though it was T20) He couldnt perform well as the whole team was struggling. I would tell you this was the great threat for Sachin and Lara in their whole carrier.They were carrying the pressure of the whole team and the nation single handedly in their shoulders. It was sachin who carried India & Lara who carried the Windies, but for ponting it was in the other way, it was the Aussies who carried Ponting.Ponting was nowwhere in the frame the upto the period of 2002 .After that they were the best team in the world and also there were great players like Mcgrath,Warne, Steve waugh,Hayden, Brett lee and good players like Langer ,Martin,hussey symonds. So the pressure on ponting was very less , when compared to that of sachin or Lara.So I would put Sachin and Lara very much above than Ponting.

  • POSTED BY RakeshKumarNoida on | September 11, 2009, 6:33 GMT

    See, Sachin is Sachin... Ponting always gets benefit of top scoring of Hayden, Langer, Gilchrist, Damyn Martin while Sachin usually comes at a score of 6-2, 10-2, 20-2, 30-2 and something like this. Bowlers still feel fresh while Ponting came when the Score reach usually on 80-1, 100-1, 150-1, 200-1 without any pressure that after him there are more good quality batsmen to follow... While there were always pressure on Sachin to see the lineup after him... Can anybody denied this?

  • POSTED BY Gopes_On_Dopes on | September 8, 2009, 18:41 GMT

    Like any other discussion on batsmen, this one has also turned into Tendulkar v Ponting! Ponting is a very good attacking batsman, but why do we have to compare him to the greats like Tendulkar and Lara? Just take a stat for eg. For any batsman from the subcontinent the real test is on the seaming wickets in England, the bouncy ones in South Africa (taking into consideration batsmen since the 90s) and the ones in Australia where one would encounter everything from seam and swing in Gabba to spin in Sydney to extreme bounce at the WACA. Simlarily a batsmen from outside the subcontinent has to counter the low and slow wickets in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (esp.) to be even thought of as a great. Check out Tendulkar's stats in Aus, Eng and SA combined and check the corresponding numbers for Ponting in the subcontinent. The difference is stark!!

  • POSTED BY qalandar4 on | September 8, 2009, 16:21 GMT

    The injuries should be factored in for Tendulkar, because, over the last two years (i.e. since his most recent operation), even when minnows are excluded, he averages over 50: http://stats.cricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=default;spanmax1=1+Aug++2009;spanmin1=1+Jan+2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround It doesn't seem credible that he is able to do at 35 what he was unable to do at 32-33. Aside: I completely agree that Younis Khan is unfairly derided by far too many. He has been a valuable run scorer for Pakistan in test matches (it's not just about the averages -- he averaged in the 40s on the last Pak. tour of Australia; in the context of the team's batting failures on that tour, that was actually pretty good). The wider point: it's far more difficult to maintain a high average on a poor team (which is why George Headley reportedly bristled at being called the "Black Bradman"; he said Bradman should be called the "White Headley")

  • POSTED BY suresh.t on | September 8, 2009, 14:21 GMT

    Most players are at their best in 'home conditions' and it's no wonder ponting scored heavily in such conditions...a batsman's true test is in playing against quality attack under alien conditions and here's where sachin scores over ponting...more runs in Australia against a very good attack than Ponting in India against a very good attack. And the same argument holds, when we say 'Ponting scores heavily in SA'. Is there any other way to look at this? Wake up people. I am not saying Ponting is 'not great'. But please do not compare him with Sachin, the best batsman that ever was, is and will be!

  • POSTED BY ilamdream on | September 8, 2009, 14:00 GMT

    Hello Cricinfo..to take these debates further, can you do an article on the Greatest Matchwinner of all time. I'm a fan of Indian cricket but I would really like to see who has been the Impact player in the last 2 or 3 decades.

  • POSTED BY CricFan24 on | September 8, 2009, 5:04 GMT

    Wonderfull!! as someone said even after 20 yrs no cricket discussion can ever be complete without the great tendulkar. if you notice almost every single comment mentions tendulkar- without a trace of doubt the greatest batsman the world has ever seen

  • POSTED BY mr.cruizy on | September 8, 2009, 0:01 GMT

    guys..whats all this fuss around ..don't you guys see the stats.they speak for themselves i guess..and the THREE STANDOUT BATSMEN of the decade are:: Mohammad Yousuf 6126 60.05 23/ 20 5401 55.68 20/ 17 Ricky Ponting 9253 59.31 32/ 38 8634 58.33 30/ 34 Jacques Kallis 8428 58.93 26/ 41 7611 55.55 23/ 38

    if u r good at reading stats and sitation in which these batsmen played ( and i ll personally give to Mohammad Yosaf because he didnt play test cricket for more than an year which means ATLEAST 10 test matches and who knows how many would have he scored as we all know what a batsman he is )...

    ricky ponting is a fine example of a leader..attacking..marvellous and outstanding on counter attack..good on both spinning and bouncy tracks...and jacques kallis is no doubt a class act considering the fact thaat he bowls in the same test in which he scores his centry or so..

    so stop it already and lets give a huge applause :)

  • POSTED BY ConanThebarbarian on | September 7, 2009, 23:56 GMT

    Prasanth put it beautifully - even after 20 yrs every cricket discussion needs to talk abt Sachin to keep goin !! Stats r a good measure of a players profile but they can be filtered to show watever aspect we wanna highlight. Lara avged 35 agnt India and 41 agnt NZ and never scored a 100 against W's or Donald. Punter averages 20 in India which is not even average but tailendersque- Sachin avg 58 in Aus and no less than 40 in any of the countries. Ricky averages 44 n 48 in Eng and against Eng compared to SRTs 62 n 62 and Eng bowling attack s been equally good n in cases even better than Pak's dis decade. Per this article Sachin avged 58 compared to Pontings 46 in tougher conditions for batsman. Warne avged 47 agnt the best batting line up against Spin n i can hardly remember one spell worthy of mention against the Indians. So was he a average bowler cos he failed agnt the best? Leave Sachin alone guys - Don said Sachin s best n i dont think anyone else knows abt batting better than Don!

  • POSTED BY Neil247 on | September 7, 2009, 16:33 GMT

    Some super comments below. Most relevant of which: 1) Till 2003: The big 3 :SRT 8811@ 57.6 31 hun, BCL 7572@49.5 18 hun; Pont 4246 @ 48.8 14 hun. 2)Any and all cricket roads lead to the one and only Tendulkar. 3)From 2003-07 just about ALL batsmen had their best years. Perhaps the easiest years for batting in cricket history. Just the greatest of them all missed out due to injuries. Infact we may well have missed out on the best of Tendulkar-incredible tho that may seem! 4)Against the best team of the last 20 years(AUS) : Tendulkar 2748@56.1,10 100s.( including the best in Aus itself!!) the best record by any modern player against the best modern team of the era- some minnow bashing!ha!. Including ODIs too!! All in all, as so many ppl have said that without the slightest shade of doubt SACHIN TENDULKAR is the greatest batsman of all time.

  • POSTED BY perl57 on | September 7, 2009, 15:52 GMT

    How many more times, the stupid competition gets to print in a variation that is of thousandth nature? How many more times, are people going to climb on Tendulkar and praise pontings and Laras? C'mon, we all know that others are also great batsmen but Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest to have the graced the game on this universe. The best there is, The best there was, The best of there ever will be. The Excellence of execution and Master of every thing in cricket. Lara and Ponting came at 3 but their first set batsmen used to get out on the tea of the first day when batting first. Tendulkar used to come out in 3rd over of the innings irrespective of when they batted. Ponting has the help of so many umpires and Lara had been a true genius with a little attitude. Over and all Tendulkar truly stands as the greatest cricketer which the game itself will stand and applaud. Others do not even stand a chance.

  • POSTED BY edygriff21 on | September 7, 2009, 15:16 GMT

    Sheethal- do you just make up these stats? In the 90's Ponting scored 6 centuries in 33 tests. not 2 in 45. If not for some crap sub continental umpiring he would've had one on debut as well. His record in India isn't good, but why do you feel the need to exagerate. His ave is 21 (pretty bad), but where do you get 15. As for Ponting not been able to play in the sub continent, his record in sri lanka and pakistan is very good. 55 ave in SL and 119 ave in Pak. You mention Pontings poor record in india, but you fail to metion Tendulkars poor record in SA and Pak- why? "Because of some HIGH Quality bowling"

  • POSTED BY wibbly on | September 7, 2009, 14:01 GMT

    It's amazing that as soon as a stat is revealed that diminishes Tendulkar in anyway, you find all of his fanatical followers coming out and making claims that are just not true. The fact that his Test average has been boosted by performances against Zimbabwe and Bangladesh (far more so than Lara and Ponting) has been known for a while and is very revealing. In any case i cannot spend my time blindly pleading the case of one batsman over all others because quite frankly the case can never be proven, stats are just a part of true greatness. Personally i have seen Viv, Lara, Greg Chappel, Gavaskar and Sobers and i would pay my money to watch anyone of them bat before i would put out a cent to watch Tendulkar, great player that he is.

  • POSTED BY ITJOBSUCKS on | September 7, 2009, 10:27 GMT

    Re: Sorcerer : continue

    As for Ponting is concerned, his record in Sub-Continent is Pathetic to say the least. Let him score some runs in SUb-continent (especially India: Avg 15 in 8 Tests on 4 tours). Ponting is nowhere near to SACHIN & LARA. During 90's, Ponting scored only 2 hunderds even though palyed 45 tests. WHY ? Because of some HIGH Quality bowling.

  • POSTED BY edygriff21 on | September 7, 2009, 7:36 GMT

    How many other people want to make excuses for Tendulkar? Pontings been playing with a wrist injury for years not to mention the leg injury when he slid into a boundary fence. No more excuses, just look at the stats. Take out his minnow bashing and he only averages 52. Ponting averages 55. Career ave against Pak is 42 and SA is 35, the next two best bowling attacks in the world after Aussies. They're not great stats, they're average at best. Ponting doesn't average less than 47 against anyone!! Tendulkar gets protected by batting at 4, so all the shines off the new ball. Ponting and Lara went in at 3. John if you looked at the 90's stats you'd see he only scored 50 more runs than Lara, and only for a few not outs has a better average. From 00-04 Tendulkar was strong, but dominate- no. Ponting in 02 scored 1064 runs @ 71 and 03 1503 runs @ 100- now thats dominating. Then look at ODI's- 10 100's against Zim, Namibia and Kenya! Greatest batsmen- greatest minnow basher apart from Kallis

  • POSTED BY Maui3 on | September 7, 2009, 2:11 GMT

    Nice Stats Rajesh. The 6-8% increase batting average in 2000's over the 4 decades prior to that (38.22 over35s and 36s) seems surprisingly low, given that the bowlers and wicket keepers contribute lot more these days (would be nice to get the average/wicket for each wicket for last 5 decades to verify that) - The 6-8% increase in batting average doesn't quite explain the dramatic increase in the number of batsmen averaging 50+ in this decade. Maybe this simply is a decade of too many good batsmen, just like 80s was a decade of many great allrounders and 80s/90s was a decade of many great fast bowlers.

    Also I wonder if the introduction of technology is more helpful for the batsman to decode a bowler than the other way around. Given how quickly Mendis is figured out (one can counter that by Harmison figuring out Hughes) by replays and analysis, it is simply harder for the bowler this days. Beside the constant travelling these days might adversely affect the bowler more than batsman.

  • POSTED BY omer_admani on | September 7, 2009, 1:45 GMT

    Younis Khan is more deserving of the 50-average tag than most others. He is very underated, but he has hit more matchwinning and matchsaving knocks than many others. I remember, against India in India on a broken pitch, he made a 4th innings 100 to save the match. Similarly, in Pakistan prior to that, he made a 4th innings 100 to save the match against SA. He has hit numerous other occassions that have won matches. The 300 he made against Sri Lanka was on a flat deck all right, but it was when Sri Lanka had made a big score, and it was against Murali and Mendis. When Pakistan won the test match in SA, he played his part. In India he has played on numerous occassions when Pakistan have won or saved a match. That can't be said about a lot of other batsmen in the list. His pictue up there doesn't do him justice, in fact he is one of the more deserving on the list.

  • POSTED BY a133936 on | September 6, 2009, 16:50 GMT

    Very interesting insight. I mean the average number of batsmen with >50 ave in 30 years prior is 5 and then it jumps 21 - is amazing jump. Looking at these numbers, gave me an idea that what if I used an average of 50 as the criteria to measure the different between an average and a very very good batsman in 2000s -- and since there were 21 batsmen in 2000s, what would be the top 21 batsmen like in the previous three decades? By taking the top 21 batsmen from decade of 1970s, 1980s and 2000s, the batsmen with the lowest average are: Decade Average of the 21st player (lowest) 2000s Sehwag 50.06 1980s Saleem Malik 42.51 1970s Mushtaq 42.22 Does this means that the batting average of 42 in 70s & 80s is same as average of 50 in the decade of 2000s? I think so.

  • POSTED BY johntothejohn on | September 6, 2009, 14:47 GMT

    Look at the stats for the 90's when batting was harder Tendulkar dominates it which isn't surprising, Lara played most of his cricket in the 90's and doesn't come close to sachin, Ponting was still young then and can be excused in that case. I am interested to see the stats from 2000 to 2004 i'm sure Sachin pre injury dominates that list too. By the way I'm an englishman and have no loyalty to sachin except that in my opinion he is the best batsman I have ever seen and ive seen the likes of viv richards bat aswel. More runs against the best teams in all formats more hundreds when it mattered and carried a very weak side who have only come good recently much like lara did after ambrose and walsh retired make sachin the greatest. Also more match winning innings than lara its a fact look it up.

  • POSTED BY derrida_derider on | September 6, 2009, 11:17 GMT

    There are 3 things that have boosted batting averages - roped boundaries (far too small on most grounds), "advanced" bats and suet-pudding pitches with no life in them. I think all 3 detract from the game, but the last is far the worst.

    Where are the bouncy wickets, that reward orthodox attacking shots but punish defensive weaknesses and crude slogs? That reward fiery pace but punishes dibbly-dobbly medium pace? That reward slow looping spinners that spit off the pitch but punishes balls pushed through flat?

  • POSTED BY Gopes_On_Dopes on | September 6, 2009, 7:55 GMT

    You've hit the nail on the head Rajesh, but I think you'd have to agree with a few of th posts here. There would've been minnows in every era. Does it diminish the Don's record if one considers that he played in only two countries? But even then 21 batsmen averaging 50+ is way too high a number. I'd agree to your point of flatter pitches and less threatening bowling in general, but won't necessarily say that averages are beefed up only by a couple of weak sides.

  • POSTED BY Rohan1 on | September 6, 2009, 7:06 GMT

    The ONLY reason lara,ponting and co. are even in the same frame as the Great Tendulkar is bcoz of continous injuries he suffered from 2003-07 which severely hampered all aspects of his unparalleled game...it is the EXACT period when lara,ponting (and as we can now see just about every tom ,dick and hussey) had their best consecutive periods statistically and filled their boots with cheap easy runs.

  • POSTED BY prashant1 on | September 6, 2009, 3:16 GMT

    I said b4 : I LOVE IT!!! Even after 20 yrs any and all cricket discussion MUST involve the one and only Tendulkar. He has become so deeply entwined in our cricket consciousness that NO discussion of cricket can possibly be without the great Tendulkar. just proves that cricket=tendulkar and tendulkar=cricket. all in all, as others have said...i.e "pound for pound" and when all formats and all is said and done it is obvious SACHIN TENDULKAR is the greatest batsman that ever walked the earth.

  • POSTED BY Sorcerer on | September 6, 2009, 0:28 GMT

    Yes, Sachin has scored big against Australia, but he has benen simply rank mediocre overall with well below-par averages against Pak and SA - the other two teams with well-equipped bowling. And to say that Aussies have had the best team in the last "two decades" is a travesty. If anything, it was not until late 90s when they assembled a brilliant bowling attack. By the way, when McGrath has featured, Sachin has overall been a failure. Warne is a different story and has bene dominated yes, but dig just a little deeper and you will see which mediocre Aussie bowlers has Sachin scored his runs against.

    Injuries are a part of the game and every player has had their share of tough luck. Hats off to Ponting for having been such a ravager despite pressures of captaincy in the last number of years and having played half his games on fast and bouncy tracks. The ONLY blot on his career stats is V India in India and that too constitutes merely a handful of Tests. Other issues here for Sachin.

  • POSTED BY maz1732 on | September 5, 2009, 17:45 GMT

    henchart is absolutely right. the fact that batsmen have found it easier scoring runs against weaker oppositions (Zim and Bang) and at the same time the bowling quality has gone down considerably with retirements of key bowlers like ambrose, waqar, wasim, mcgrath and many others has contributed to the high avg by batsmen in this decade..

  • POSTED BY romero1 on | September 5, 2009, 14:05 GMT

    Sachin has struggled with injuries this decade and has played numerous times purely to appease the crowds. If he had missed a couple of games more and returned fully fit, his performances would have been better. Of greater importance is the fact that Sachin has a good record of 10 x100s against Australia (6 in Aus) the best team of the last 20 years. Ponting and the rest have had an easy time. Sachin has been the best equipped batsman of the last 40 years on par with Sobers and Graeme Pollock. There has been a tendancy to fail under pressure that puts a cloud over Sachin's mental strength. This is reflected in the failure to close out wins in Tests - West indies 97, Pak 99, Safrica 97 and 2000, Aus 2008 and Eng 2002 & 2007. Hopefully we will get to see a rejuvenated Sachin in the next 3 or 4 years till retirement.

  • POSTED BY CricFan24 on | September 5, 2009, 13:54 GMT

    1)Till 2003: The big 3 :SRT 8811@ 57.6 31 hun, BCL 7572@49.5 18 hun; Pont 4246 @ 48.8 14 hun. 2) After the 2003 WC-2006, here's a short bio of Tendulkar: April 2003: Hand surgery.Most of the next 2 seasons affected by Tennis elbow. At one point in 2004 could not pick up a bat for 6 months. Prematurely brought back after attempting conservative treatment for tennis elbow after India lost the first 2 home tests to Aus. With the inevitable result-more pain and a forced May 2005: for elbow surgery. April 2006: shoulder surgery. Tendulkar has had some injuries before but they were not all compressed into a short period so recurring. (1998: back injury, 2001 broken toe). So, you have time to get back your rhythm after injury, provided you don't again get another one. 3)Conclusions: Obviously at his best Tendulkar was the best. That too at a particularly difficult time for batting. Plus if you add odis: Final conclusion: SACHIN TENDULKAR :The greatest batsman the world has ever seen.

  • POSTED BY Saim93 on | September 5, 2009, 12:49 GMT

    Wow very nice stats acheived, i had always said inzamam was a much better batsman than given credit for and here he is in the top.It is surprising to see a zimbabwe batsman in the top but Flower is one of the greats.Again would like to tell that this is a very interesting analysis and indicates the prolificity of the batsmen in this decade.

  • POSTED BY Avid.Cricket.Watcher on | September 5, 2009, 9:35 GMT

    Very good research initiative this. Please do the same for bowlers stats too, Rajesh. As many experts have been saying for a time now, the balance between bat and ball needs to be redressed in all forms of the game, and especially in Test cricket. And the most critical reform needed, in my view, is encouraging more result-oriented pitches (supportive of either one of spin or seam bowling, if not both). To this end, I wish the ICC would create a "Sporting Pitches Incentive Fund" that would reward - through medals and financial rewards - the top groundsmen (say the top 3) every year (at the annual ICC awards) for producing the most sporting cricket pitches (the ICC's Cricket Committee comprising distinguished ex-players & captains could be the jury). Essentially, groundsmen around the world need to hear the right message from the ICC. Cricket's future is at stake.

  • POSTED BY qalandar4 on | September 5, 2009, 5:13 GMT

    One problem with the generally great piece is that minnows are not being excluded in other eras. Thus Bradman averaged 160 or 180 in the one series he played against India; if I remember correctly, 10 of Everton Weekes' 16 centuries came against India, Pakistan, or New Zealand (none of them especially strong at the time), and Freddie Trueman terrorized India. Not suggesting any of these are Zimbabwe or Bangladesh, but they were considered very weak teams. In the 1980s, Sri Lanka were a very weak team, especially on foreign soil; one could go on...

  • POSTED BY qalandar4 on | September 5, 2009, 5:10 GMT

    razasarani: You ignore that the same stats show that Sachin topped the averages in the 1990s -- 58 -- in a decade that was apparently really bad for batsmen!

  • POSTED BY motherocker on | September 5, 2009, 4:24 GMT

    Sheethal_Gunjal, Younis Khan and Thilan Samaraweera are not mediocre batsmen. Younis has scored most of his runs this decade against top quality teams like India, England, and South Africa. Samaraweera has also scored many runs against teams like West Indies (in the early part of the decade when they still had Ambrose and Walsh), Pakistan, etc.

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | September 5, 2009, 2:56 GMT

    Razasarani, Tendulkar may have averaged only 46 agaisnt the 8 good teams this decade but he averaged 58 in the 90's where the pitches were more lively and the bowlers of a much higher class. If anything this shows that he was a great batsman ten years ago but injuries have made him lose that magic touch in recent times.

  • POSTED BY Sorcerer on | September 5, 2009, 2:16 GMT

    Interesting that despite bloating up his average having played so much against Bangla and Zim, Sachin still does not feature in even the Top 15 of the '00s.

    Andy Flower's efforts prove he is one of the most under-rated batsmen in the ongoing era.

  • POSTED BY henchart on | September 5, 2009, 2:04 GMT

    It is said ,'there are lies,damn lies and statistics'.Fact of the matter is that hips and figures dont lie.Tendulkar has had the advantage of playing ZMB and BLD unlike Gavaskar or Richards. .Ponting,Kallis and Haq have all played and scored heavily against ZMB and BLD.WI too have only gone down since over half a decade as a bowling unit and become prone to concede runs easily. Even middle rung batsmen like Atherton and Hussain have done well too although staistically they may be notches below Tendulkar, Ponting and Kallis.One must see the conditions in totality befor emphasizing the figures only.A well made fifty against Ambrose on a wet pitch is far better than double ton against minnows on featherbed.

  • POSTED BY Phenominal on | September 5, 2009, 1:23 GMT

    This analysis is awesome.I really liked it

  • POSTED BY Kishan718 on | September 5, 2009, 1:21 GMT

    Sachin is definitely the best batsman. He may not have scored much in this decade because of injuries and all, but he did his bit against the best bowlers in late 1990s.

  • POSTED BY sachkaan on | September 4, 2009, 23:08 GMT

    i think this analysis is completely baseless. reasons. 1. when bangladesh and zimbawe are test playing nations, why anybody would remove the runs against these nations?

    2. Mcgrath and Gillespie are retired just before 2 years and they have played 7 years in this decade. Again, Great bowlers are made by their talent and consistency over the years. Todays Steyn, Lee, Flintoff are tomorrows legends. so they will not be something less than Walsh, Akram or MCgrath.

    3. the editor didnt consider the number of matches played by these players against the old ones, the effort these players make on and off the field in a year.

    4. Agree with the fact that, the pitch has some effect on batting, again i will add the point that, spin bowling was a major weapon in this decade almost for all the test playing nations.

    Thanks a lot

  • POSTED BY itzbhushan on | September 4, 2009, 21:56 GMT

    i fully agree with sheetal gunjal. lara and sachin averaged 51 and 59 in the previous decade when great bowlers like wasim, waqar,walsh,ambrose were at their helm.. isnt this enough to prove that they were one of the greatest?

  • POSTED BY Chedchatri on | September 4, 2009, 20:36 GMT

    @razasarani I find your comments quite funny. In my mind the analysis precisely tells us why the Sachins, Laras and the Dravids are much better/bigger batsmen than most of the others in this decade who have similar career averages. Sachin had an average of 58 against some of the greatest bowlers of all time like the Akrams, donalds etc. Tell me how many bowling names from this decade can even be taken in the same breath as the above ones? And these are the bowlers that batsmen like Samaraweera have to score against.

    As for Sachin's lower average this decade......well its no secret that as the injuries have caught up with him, Sachin hasnt remained the same batsmen of the old (nobody does.......even Ponting who had three brilliant years seems to be showing signs of aging). Another factor (albeit a much lesser one) has been the strong Indian batting line up leading to a more even distribution of runs.

  • POSTED BY razasarani on | September 4, 2009, 17:52 GMT

    The analysis is actually very good which shows that Sachin only has an average of 46 against top eight teams in a decade which is good for batsmen and people think that he is a great batsman.

  • POSTED BY cricpolitics on | September 4, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    These are just numbers on a paper and one can draw any conclusions from it. If we were to gauge the quality of the batsmen based on these numbers then we can also say that today's top teams like South Africa, and particularly India are a fluke since all the other teams like Australia, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, and West Indies are much weaker teams now as compare to how they were in the 90's.

  • POSTED BY Engle on | September 4, 2009, 15:42 GMT

    Batsmen are fully aware that they can inflate their figures by exploiting the minnows and conditions, no matter their failures against top-notch bowling. Numbers in this electronic/computing/media age mean everything, and batsmen more than ever before, must be keeping an eye on their numbers. Put some of these batsmen against the ferocious pacemen of the past and watch them wilt.

  • POSTED BY Parthipan on | September 4, 2009, 13:26 GMT

    yes,analyzing stats and averages are good, but it tells only half the story. if U take averages without the runs scored against weaker teams (BAN, ZIM ) how will you evaluate the bowling standard of NZ in subcontinent (current tour of SL) & how will you value the runs scored against them. need to have the averages of the runs scored in a away tour to evaluate a batsman's calibre. these stats lie very much. the greatness of a batsman or the enormity of the knock is felt by a true cricket lover when he witnesses it live, the stats do not matter. the 72* by Dravid at Adelaide in the 2nd inn is equally great to the double century by him in the first inn. how will you evalaute the greatness of the knock only thru numbers. what is the sheer weight of the 50 runs scored by DUMINY in the Perth test to clinch a victory.plssss do not put up these stats and say this player is not great and this one is - the greatness is a ABSTRACT feeling and cricket lovers will FEEL it for sure when it happens

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | September 4, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    A very interesting, but also worrying article. The yardstick of a good test batsman used to be 40 - you do not touich on this, but I suggest this is now 45+ and a leading player's average is now 55+.

    I am very concerned with the dominance of bat over ball. It is not entertaining. Entertaining games generally have pitches reward good batting and bowling - not when batsmen just turn up and bash 100s around the ground. Boring, boring. The ICC must address this, because it is not due to a prevelance of world class batters. If we had the same players in the 70s or 80s, only a handful would average 50+. Are you telling me that Samaraweera and Hussey are as good as Viv Richards and Clive Llyod for example?

    Uncovered pitches must be looked at and bowlers should be allowed to legally rough the ball up. It's obvious that something must be done.

  • POSTED BY doesitmatter on | September 4, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    Just goes to show Sachin is the real deal..2000 is decade of 3 things

    1) Good batting pitches 2) No good bowlers( mainly to left handers..) Left handers have flourished in this decade 3) Minnow bashing

  • POSTED BY ITJOBSUCKS on | September 4, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    This stat clearly tells why Sachin and Lara r clearly the BEST BARSMEN of this generation. Sachin averaged 58 in 90's & lara averaged 51 when bowling was pretty HIGH standard (Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh, Mcgrath, Gillsepie, Pollock, Donald). This also tells even mediocre batsmen like Samaraveera, Younis Khan r averaging more than 50 in this deacde i.e. 20's.

  • POSTED BY vigneshenoy on | September 4, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    Its an interesting analysis,on a serious note this has been a decade of batsmen,this has also been a decade that has seen many debutants scoring Hundreds on debut,like Sehwag,Clarke,Strauss etc,there are also many players who have scored hundred in each innings of a test match in this decade,and a fascinating fact is this decade has also seen many double and triple hundreds.The main reason being the favourable conditions and less number of genuine test match bowlers. But the ultimate test of a batsman would be his consistent performance abroad and under difficult match scenarios.Ponting,Dravid,Tendulkar,Kallis,S.Waugh,Sangakkara,Chanderpaul,Andy Flower are the few who have really overcome all the challenges of conditions and match situations. A similar kind of an analysis based on the statistics of the bowlers would be great.

  • POSTED BY Jose on | September 4, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    Good analysis. It is undeniable fact that pitches are becoming more & more batsmen friendly. Perhaps, this is just to enhance the entertainment value of cricket. However, some of the batsmen in your list are capable of facing any opposition at any time. It is also interesting to see home & away average of these batsmen. There are only a few in the list above who averaged above 50 at home and outside. I consider them as best of the decade.

  • POSTED BY Venkatb on | September 4, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    The article is long on statistics and short on analysis and insight. Two significant factors have contributed to inflated batting averages in the past decade - helmets and an overdose of one-day cricket where batsmen have learnt to extend the offensive form of batting into Test cricket. Add to this mix the increasingly batting-friendly wickets and you have the inevitable result of all sorts of batting records being created. The acid test is to subject a current Test team to the batting and competitive environment of the 70s - say the Indian Test team without helmets to face a pace barrage of the current Aussies or SA team and it would be like pricking a pin into a balloon - Sehwag's and Yuvraj Singh's weak techniques would be exposed in no time, Tendulkar and Dravid would end up with batting averages more in line with Umrigar, Vishwanath and Vengsarkar - after all the Indian continues to flounder against genuine pace. I would subtract a good 12-15 runs from current averages.

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  • POSTED BY Venkatb on | September 4, 2009, 9:16 GMT

    The article is long on statistics and short on analysis and insight. Two significant factors have contributed to inflated batting averages in the past decade - helmets and an overdose of one-day cricket where batsmen have learnt to extend the offensive form of batting into Test cricket. Add to this mix the increasingly batting-friendly wickets and you have the inevitable result of all sorts of batting records being created. The acid test is to subject a current Test team to the batting and competitive environment of the 70s - say the Indian Test team without helmets to face a pace barrage of the current Aussies or SA team and it would be like pricking a pin into a balloon - Sehwag's and Yuvraj Singh's weak techniques would be exposed in no time, Tendulkar and Dravid would end up with batting averages more in line with Umrigar, Vishwanath and Vengsarkar - after all the Indian continues to flounder against genuine pace. I would subtract a good 12-15 runs from current averages.

  • POSTED BY Jose on | September 4, 2009, 9:22 GMT

    Good analysis. It is undeniable fact that pitches are becoming more & more batsmen friendly. Perhaps, this is just to enhance the entertainment value of cricket. However, some of the batsmen in your list are capable of facing any opposition at any time. It is also interesting to see home & away average of these batsmen. There are only a few in the list above who averaged above 50 at home and outside. I consider them as best of the decade.

  • POSTED BY vigneshenoy on | September 4, 2009, 10:39 GMT

    Its an interesting analysis,on a serious note this has been a decade of batsmen,this has also been a decade that has seen many debutants scoring Hundreds on debut,like Sehwag,Clarke,Strauss etc,there are also many players who have scored hundred in each innings of a test match in this decade,and a fascinating fact is this decade has also seen many double and triple hundreds.The main reason being the favourable conditions and less number of genuine test match bowlers. But the ultimate test of a batsman would be his consistent performance abroad and under difficult match scenarios.Ponting,Dravid,Tendulkar,Kallis,S.Waugh,Sangakkara,Chanderpaul,Andy Flower are the few who have really overcome all the challenges of conditions and match situations. A similar kind of an analysis based on the statistics of the bowlers would be great.

  • POSTED BY ITJOBSUCKS on | September 4, 2009, 11:10 GMT

    This stat clearly tells why Sachin and Lara r clearly the BEST BARSMEN of this generation. Sachin averaged 58 in 90's & lara averaged 51 when bowling was pretty HIGH standard (Wasim, Waqar, Ambrose, Walsh, Mcgrath, Gillsepie, Pollock, Donald). This also tells even mediocre batsmen like Samaraveera, Younis Khan r averaging more than 50 in this deacde i.e. 20's.

  • POSTED BY doesitmatter on | September 4, 2009, 12:37 GMT

    Just goes to show Sachin is the real deal..2000 is decade of 3 things

    1) Good batting pitches 2) No good bowlers( mainly to left handers..) Left handers have flourished in this decade 3) Minnow bashing

  • POSTED BY neil99 on | September 4, 2009, 12:59 GMT

    A very interesting, but also worrying article. The yardstick of a good test batsman used to be 40 - you do not touich on this, but I suggest this is now 45+ and a leading player's average is now 55+.

    I am very concerned with the dominance of bat over ball. It is not entertaining. Entertaining games generally have pitches reward good batting and bowling - not when batsmen just turn up and bash 100s around the ground. Boring, boring. The ICC must address this, because it is not due to a prevelance of world class batters. If we had the same players in the 70s or 80s, only a handful would average 50+. Are you telling me that Samaraweera and Hussey are as good as Viv Richards and Clive Llyod for example?

    Uncovered pitches must be looked at and bowlers should be allowed to legally rough the ball up. It's obvious that something must be done.

  • POSTED BY Parthipan on | September 4, 2009, 13:26 GMT

    yes,analyzing stats and averages are good, but it tells only half the story. if U take averages without the runs scored against weaker teams (BAN, ZIM ) how will you evaluate the bowling standard of NZ in subcontinent (current tour of SL) & how will you value the runs scored against them. need to have the averages of the runs scored in a away tour to evaluate a batsman's calibre. these stats lie very much. the greatness of a batsman or the enormity of the knock is felt by a true cricket lover when he witnesses it live, the stats do not matter. the 72* by Dravid at Adelaide in the 2nd inn is equally great to the double century by him in the first inn. how will you evalaute the greatness of the knock only thru numbers. what is the sheer weight of the 50 runs scored by DUMINY in the Perth test to clinch a victory.plssss do not put up these stats and say this player is not great and this one is - the greatness is a ABSTRACT feeling and cricket lovers will FEEL it for sure when it happens

  • POSTED BY Engle on | September 4, 2009, 15:42 GMT

    Batsmen are fully aware that they can inflate their figures by exploiting the minnows and conditions, no matter their failures against top-notch bowling. Numbers in this electronic/computing/media age mean everything, and batsmen more than ever before, must be keeping an eye on their numbers. Put some of these batsmen against the ferocious pacemen of the past and watch them wilt.

  • POSTED BY cricpolitics on | September 4, 2009, 17:42 GMT

    These are just numbers on a paper and one can draw any conclusions from it. If we were to gauge the quality of the batsmen based on these numbers then we can also say that today's top teams like South Africa, and particularly India are a fluke since all the other teams like Australia, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, and West Indies are much weaker teams now as compare to how they were in the 90's.

  • POSTED BY razasarani on | September 4, 2009, 17:52 GMT

    The analysis is actually very good which shows that Sachin only has an average of 46 against top eight teams in a decade which is good for batsmen and people think that he is a great batsman.