Don Bradman: stats analysis

The greatest of them all

In terms of numbers, Don Bradman's achievements are so staggering that many of them will almost certainly never be equalled

S Rajesh

September 6, 2010

Comments: 75 | Text size: A | A

Don Bradman sweeps one fine, 1938
Bradman: ahead of everyone else by a country mile © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Sir Donald Bradman
Teams: Australia

Even among cricketing legends, Don Bradman's stature is one that no other player has come close to. His stats are so much better than anyone before, during or after his time, that it truly boggles the mind. Various arguments are offered about the changes in the game today to try and explain 99.94: fielding standards have improved, making it tougher for batsmen to score; captains are more agreeable to posting defensive fields and restricting the runs; the game is played across several countries as opposed to just a few during Bradman's time, making it more difficult to adjust to different conditions. While these statements may be true as independent facts, they do nothing to diminish the sheer genius of the Don, and the staggering magnitude of his achievements.

The most famous number, of course, is his Test average, which is 64% better than the next-best (with a cut-off of 2000 runs). That alone shows how much better Bradman has been than anyone who has ever played the game. Comparing the overall batting numbers during his time with the corresponding number today further illustrates this point: in the 20 years in which Bradman played his Test cricket, the overall batting average was 31.85; in the 21 years since Sachin Tendulkar's Test debut, the overall batting average in 845 Tests is 31.07. Restricting this only to top-order batsmen (batsmen in the top six of a line-up) also throws up similar numbers - 39.99 during Bradman's time (1928 to 1948), and 38.40 during Tendulkar's (November 1989 onwards).

Apart from Bradman and Graeme Pollock, West Indian George Headley and Herbert Sutcliffe of England were the only ones who scored more than 2000 Test runs at averages of more than 60.

Highest averages in Test cricket (Qual: 2000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Don Bradman 52 6996 99.94 29/ 13
Graeme Pollock 23 2256 60.97 7/ 11
George Headley 22 2190 60.83 10/ 5
Herbert Sutcliffe 54 4555 60.73 16/ 23
Ken Barrington 82 6806 58.67 20/ 35
Everton Weekes 48 4455 58.61 15/ 19
Wally Hammond 85 7249 58.45 22/ 24
Garry Sobers 93 8032 57.78 26/ 30

Among the batsmen who averaged 60, Pollock was the only one who came in after Bradman's time. Till the end of the 1940s, when Bradman finished his international career, Headley's 63.91 was the nearest anyone came to his 99.94 (though Headley's average fell away a bit later). Denis Compton, who was almost halfway through his Test career, averaged more than 60 at that point too, but his performances fell away thereafter and he finished averaging 50.06 from 78 matches.

Best Test averages before 1950 (Qual: 2000 runs)
Batsman Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Don Bradman 52 6996 99.94 29/ 13
George Headley 21 2173 63.91 10/ 5
Herbert Sutcliffe 54 4555 60.73 16/ 23
Denis Compton 36 3132 60.23 13/ 12
Dudley Nourse 26 2469 58.78 8/ 12
Wally Hammond 85 7249 58.45 22/ 24
Jack Hobbs 61 5410 56.94 15/ 28
Len Hutton 41 3788 56.53 11/ 17

Bradman's stats are even more remarkable because of the eight years he lost due to the War. His ill health meant he might not have played too much cricket during this period anyway, but when international cricket resumed in 1946, he was able to summon his best immediately: in his first innings he scored 187 in Brisbane against England, and followed that up with 234 in the next Test, in Sydney. He followed that up with four centuries in six innings against India in 1947-48, and then, in the famous tour of the Invincibles in 1948, scored an unforgettable 173 not out as Australia became the first team to successfully chase a 400-plus target in the fourth innings. In the 15 Tests he played after the War, Bradman averaged more than 105, and scored eight hundreds.

Bradman, before and after the War
Period Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Till 1938 37 5093 97.94 21/ 8
From 1946 15 1903 105.72 8/ 5
Career 52 6996 99.94 29/ 13

Talking about Bradman, Arthur Morris, the Australian opener who played with him, said: "He could never figure out how someone could get 60 or 70 and not get a hundred. He was able to concentrate so well, which kept him going and going and going." One look at the conversion rate corroborates exactly what Morris was talking about: Bradman scored 29 centuries in 52 Tests, and only 13 fifties. He also scored 12 double-centuries, which remains three more than the next best, and two triple-hundreds, which has been equalled by two batsmen.

Bradman's ratio of hundreds to fifties was a staggering 2.23. Among those who have scored at least 20 centuries, the second-best ratio is less than half that of Bradman's: India's Mohammad Azharuddin has 22 hundreds and 21 fifties, a ratio of slightly more than 1. Matthew Hayden is the only other batsman with more centuries than half-centuries.

Highest conversion rate of 50-plus scores into hundreds (Qual: 20 Test hundreds)
Batsman Tests 100s 50s Ratio
Don Bradman 52 29 13 2.23
Mohammad Azharuddin 99 22 21 1.05
Matthew Hayden 103 30 29 1.03
Virender Sehwag 79 21 22 0.95
Wally Hammond 85 22 24 0.92
Aravinda de Silva 93 20 22 0.91

Bradman scored a hundred every 1.79 Tests, which is again almost twice as good as the next best - Hayden's 3.43. The rate at which Bradman got double-hundreds was even more astounding - 12 in 80 innings, an average of one every 6.67 innings. In contrast, Brian Lara has nine in 232 innings (25.78 innings per double-century), Wally Hammond seven in 140 (20), Kumar Sangakkara seven in 152 (21.71), and Virender Sehwag six in 135 (22.50).

Best Tests-per-100 ratios (Qual: 20 Test hundreds)
Batsman Tests 100s Ratio
Don Bradman 52 29 1.79
Matthew Hayden 103 30 3.43
Sachin Tendulkar 169 48 3.52
Garry Sobers 93 26 3.58
Greg Chappell 87 24 3.63
Sunil Gavaskar 125 34 3.68

Bradman's propensity for big centuries also meant most of his career runs came in innings in which he made hundreds. Of the 6996 runs he scored, 5393 were in the 29 innings in which he scored centuries - a percentage of 77.09. In his other 51 innings he only scored 1603 runs at a modest average of 34.10. (Click here to check out where this average stands compared to other batsmen, with a cut-off of 1500 runs in non-hundreds.)

His percentage of 77.09 is also way higher than the other batting greats. Tendulkar's 48 hundreds have contributed 6964 out of 13,837 runs (50.33%), while the percentage for Ricky Ponting is 46.85, for Brian Lara 49.27, and 47.44 for Sunil Gavaskar. In those 29 innings in which he scored a hundred, Bradman scored almost 186 runs per innings, while his batting average (not-outs excluded) was more than 234. As the table below shows, his runs per innings is the highest among batsmen with at least 20 Test hundreds, though the difference between him and the next best isn't quite as much as in some other categories.

Highest runs per innings in hundreds (Qual: 20 centuries)
Batsman 100s Runs in 100s Average Runs per inng
Don Bradman 29 5393 234.47 185.97
Virender Sehwag 21 3706 185.30 176.48
Brian Lara 34 5889 184.03 173.21
Wally Hammond 22 3685 245.66 167.50
Kumar Sangakkara 23 3840 240.00 166.96
Mahela Jayawardene 28 4551 182.04 162.54

Bradman's 52 Tests were spread over only 11 series, since five-Test series were the norm then, and his averages in each of them show just how great a batsman he was. The lowest he averaged in any of them was 56.57, in the Bodyline series in 1932-33. On the other hand, he averaged more than 100 four times, and between 90 and 100 three times. (Click here for his series-wise averages.)

Series-wise spread of Bradman's averages
  50 to 69.99 70 to 89.99 90 to 99.99 100 or more
No. of series 2 2 3 4

Almost 20% of the Tests Bradman played were against India and South Africa, the two weak teams of his era. Bradman cashed in, averaging 190.12 in those 10 Tests, and scoring eight hundreds. However, in 42 other Tests he still averaged more than 88, and scored a hundred every two Tests.

In the 52 Tests he played, Bradman scored more than 25% of his team's runs (6996 out of 27,624 bat runs), more than 41% of the hundreds (29 out of 70) and averaged more than three times the combined average of the other batsmen. It can safely be said there won't be another like him again.

Bradman's contribution to Australia's batting in the matches he played
  Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Don Bradman 52 6996 99.94 29/ 13
Other batsmen 52 20,628 31.21 41/ 88

S Rajesh is stats editor of Cricinfo

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Posted by ZA77 on (September 9, 2010, 22:14 GMT)

Dear Mr. Xolile please go for the stats of Sobers and Kallis. In my first comments I said Sir Don is best of his era means I am not saying that he is not excellent. Dear Neutral fan, playing amatuers does not mean that all are amatuers. I have not said he is amatuer, it is your own assumption. Fastest bowler faced by him was Larwood. Without body line series he took only 45 wickets with bowling average 34.8. Highest wicket taker in fast bowling was Allen only 82 wickets. His average was best because in his own team no one has batting average more than 50-55 against England. Like Headley with average 71.23 as compare to him 89.78 but he played several timeless matches as compare to him only one timeless test against England. Even there is argument that who is actual better quality wise as Headley came from W. Indies. For English batsmen, it was very difficult to face Grimmett, Reilly, IronMonger and Gregory in timeless matches and in England, Aus spinners became most destructive.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 9, 2010, 21:10 GMT)

Xoxile, thanks for clarifying the CLT. Not sure whether your running example can be used as a point of "judgment". It can be used to rank "actual performance" but not whether who was the greatest runner. Greater fitness and evolution will enable current generations to always run faster on average than previous generations. Waspsting has brought up an issue which would raise more anomalies with you and your calculations. If you downgrade the players of the past so much in your rating system, then you get issues where good players (but not great players) of this era consistently outperform the great players pre-1960s. That doesn't sit well with me, and I'm sure it will sit well with many others.

Posted by AhmadSaleem on (September 9, 2010, 20:00 GMT)

@nivek123. So whats your point? Is he head and shoulders ahead of all other cricketers? Even if someone consider him better than Lara he would be fractionally ahead. And as far as comparison with Bradman is concerned, it defies no logic. May be I am a little biased but not like some Indians who were saying that Wasim was an ordinary bowler. There were only two or three such comments but they were really strange. Sachin is great but definitely not greater than Sunny. Have you watched him bat?

Posted by BellCurve on (September 9, 2010, 18:09 GMT)

@BillyCC - CLT is not going to get you there. We're dealing with a population that is certainly positively skewed. And freaks of nature are extremely rare. Consider the 100m sprint in athletics. Everybody has a go at running at some point. Chances are that if you have talent it will be spotted. Nevertheless, we can count the number of athletes that have dipped below 9.85 on our fingers. Usian Bolt stunned us all be clocking 9.58. Now let's assume for a moment that Bradman is "Boltesque". And the next bets batsman is the equivalent of a 9.85 runner. How do you explain the difference in batting average of more than 60%? It doesn't stack up. Bradman was good, no doubt; but he cannot be as good as his Test average suggests. To conclude: I am happy to accept that he is the best there ever was; but I can never accept that he is more than 5% better than the next best guy. That puts him firmly in the 55 to 60 range.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 9, 2010, 14:25 GMT)

@ZA77. Think about what u r saying. If the bowlers of the time were "amateurs" that means Bradman and the batsmen of his time were amateurs also=THE SAME LEVEL.The same way players now are of the same level. And Bradman was the undisputed king of that level more so than any other player b-4 or since. If there were 5 or so others avg.90, do u think persons with objectivity would say he was the greatest ever? The truth is no-1 of his time or since has ever matched his dominance over peers. Why don't u say suppose Bradman was a professional (getting paid a lot and pampered for playing like modern cricketers), how much greater he would have been? U'r too bias and stuck in your ways, I believe. Guys like u need to learn to admire other great cricketers and not just those u like to see. THe stats are there, the footage is there, the detailed reports are there. All eras have pros and cons and eventually balance out.

Posted by nivek123 on (September 9, 2010, 14:23 GMT)

@AhmadSaleem. Your argument for Lara is flawed. Lara had bowlers like Walsh and Ambrose. Indian bowlers weren't as good as them. West Indies pitches are the flattest around. Tendulkar has done better than Lara in Australia, England, New Zealand, India. Lara has only bettered Tendulkar in SRL, West Indies and Pakistan and we know about the pitches there. Please don't bring that Pakistan bias against Tendulkar here bro. Cheers.

Posted by waspsting on (September 9, 2010, 12:39 GMT)

I suppose if Tendulkar is better than Bradman, then Ramiz Raja and Salman Butt are better than Jack Hobbs, George Headley and Wally Hammond... hmmm....

Posted by AhmadSaleem on (September 9, 2010, 12:31 GMT)

@xolile: Exactly, tha'ts the point. If you see Lara's stats, he has out performed many of his team mates by a huge margin and the pacers played in his team averaged in low 20s. It shows that he played on less batting friendly surfaces and still he managed to get those runs in an epic way. Lara was best batsman for 90s, Ponting was best for 2ks. Sachin was probably more consistent but the reason has been mentioned by xolile. Still, I think what McGrath is to bowling is Sachin to the batting but his fans always over hype him.

Posted by BellCurve on (September 9, 2010, 11:22 GMT)

@ZA77 - The following stats are easy to verify with StatsGuru. With Tendulkar in the team, only 8 Indian pace bowlers have taken more than 50 wickets. Here are their names and averages: Srinath 30.65; Zaheer 32.79; Prabhakar 36.62; Kapil Dev 32.13; Prasad 35.90; Pathan 34.22; Sharma 40.07; Agarkar 47.32. Also consider that with Tendulkar in the team, 21 Indian batsmen have scored more than 1000 runs. Of these the following averaged at least 85% of what Tendulkar averaged: Tendulkar 56.02; Dravid 53.33; Laxman 48.68; Sehwag 55.69; Gambhir 54.04; and Kambli 54.20. To me this clearly shows that Tendulkar has not outperformed his Indian peers by a significant margin. It also suggests, when taking into account the stats for the Indian pace bowlers, that Tendulkar has benefited from playing in batsmen friendly conditions. May I conclude by referring you to the Test stats for Sobers and Kallis.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 9, 2010, 11:12 GMT)

Xoxile, by the way, I hope my application of the Central Limit Theorem is right. Haven't touched stats for a while. If not, then perhaps you can help me clarify.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 9, 2010, 11:07 GMT)

Xoxile, how do you define a "few number of cricketers"? The Central Limit Theorem works for a large enough sample size, it doesn't have to be for an enormous number of cricketers. I'm concerned about your definition of grades as well. You don't allow for the fact that Bradman could have been a Grade 20 cricketer by using some of those factors I mentioned in previous posts which actually advantage Bradman, rather than using factors which only drag his true batting ability average down. You also say there are plenty of club cricketers who average 100+ over a season. That's true, but can they do it for every season? The example you gave of Ramprakash was according to my calcs, an average of 74 over 10 years in country cricket, still 25 runs off Bradman's test average and 21 off his first class average which he compiled over 20 years.

Posted by ZA77 on (September 9, 2010, 10:35 GMT)

Dear BillyCC, it is not only a matter that they those bowlers of England were unable to take 200 wickets, also there bowling quality below standard. They were unable to take 100 wickets too like Allen, Larwood and many others. Hammond played 85 test matches from 1927-1947. If he could play 85 matches and others were quality bowlers, why not they played 55 to 70 or more test matches. See example of Ponting 146 and Warne 145 TEST MATCHES as both came near to same years. Allen career span was from 1930-1948 but he played only 25 test matches. Reason was that he was not getting chance in team regularly. Larwood came in 1926 and end his career with 78 wkts. See example of Gary Sobers, he played 93 test matches in 20 years then example of Imran Khan, he played 88 test matches with sufficient wickets with them. In these two example they played almost same test matches to Hammond so your argument for thsoe days not too much cricket is invalid as all are getting almost 9 test per 2 years.

Posted by ZA77 on (September 9, 2010, 6:53 GMT)

Tendulkar has more impact on cricket as compare to Sir Don who almost played amatuers of England. Suppose if Tendulkar had to face previous Australia, he faced Warne, McGrath, Gillespie and Lee at a time. Warne deliveries are leg spin, googly, top-spin, back-spin, slider, zooter and others. McGrath guenine seamer, Gillespie also guenine seamer and then Lee swing bowler. I think this is one of best bowling attack in test cricket. So scoring against best attack is better quality or scoring more runs against England weakest attack is quality. Sir Don never played these sort of bowling even he had a problem to face googly. How he could tackle these varities of Warne, if he was bowling him. For those who are arguing that he is the best, please list the bowlers according to categories like swing bowlers, seam bowlers, wrist spinners and finger spinners. The bowlers faced by him even not get the chance in first class cricket now. So argument he is the best is only self assumption.

Posted by BellCurve on (September 9, 2010, 6:26 GMT)

@BillyCC - what I said earlier is that the distribution of cricketers among the population is positively skewed (as is the case with intellectual geniuses). Because there were relatively few cricketers in Bradman's day, your standard deviation argument is not going to give a useful result. Kurtosis is like that. The amazing thing is that there are many examples of the Bradman phenomena today. Just look at the averages of some of the games' batting superstars of the past 20 years against Zim and Bangladesh. Even when you look at club cricket stats in any region you will find plenty of examples of guys averaging 100+ over a season. Usually these guys would be the club pros. They are brought in to lead by example. And they are just too good for the standard of cricket in which they find themselves. That is exactly how it was with Bradman. He was a Grade 12 cricketer playing cricket in Grade 9. Today's Grade 12 cricketers play cricket in Grade 11. Most of the time anyway.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 9, 2010, 3:54 GMT)

Neutral Fan, Sangakkara's average when not keeping is an amazing 77, achieved at the position of No.3 batsman over a period of 43 tests. Still 23 runs off Bradman, but still remarkable. Xoxile has also mentioned that he did some analysis with similar conclusions for other players (Kallis, Ponting and Sobers averaging a little below 80). As I mentioned before, would like to see how Sangakkara develops over the next five years (when he turns 38). A prolonged period of dominance from him would make everyone take notice and take his stats to even higher levels.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 9, 2010, 0:02 GMT)

Yea, I think that inswing has summed it up perfectly. There is no logical (the key word being logical) way to argue against Don's glaring stats. The bell curve trend is a great point. The era I will say is not too far from this era, however where we are now seeing a soar of batting avg. over the bast 5-10 yrs. I think Sanga's avg since he gave up the gloves is a staggering 70 (don't quote me though, check it out to see if I'm right).

Posted by BillyCC on (September 8, 2010, 21:46 GMT)

inswing, agree with your assessment about the bell curve of batting averages being flatter in those days. Hence the standard deviation back in those days was higher than it is in today's generation.

Posted by inswing on (September 8, 2010, 17:21 GMT)

Bradman's numbers are so good that there is no logical way to diminish them. The only argument that might hold slight amount of water is that maybe in his days, the bell curve of batting averages was flatter. While the mean was the same as today, the tails were fatter, meaning that it was somewhat easier to be exceptional. Before 1950, there were 8 batsman with 55+ averages and 4 with 60+, which supports this. Even taking this into account, he was SO much better than anyone at any time, that it is not possible to deny that he was the greatest ever.

Posted by BapiDas on (September 8, 2010, 14:20 GMT)

There is no point in trying to compare the performance of Sachin Tendulkar with that of Sir Don Btradman. They played in two different eras - different not merely in time but in almost everything! The playing conditions, ground conditions, equipment, travel and accommodation, remunerations and medical attention/ assistance, training and even the rules of the game have been different. As a fun and for simply whiling away time, one can indulge in compiling all kinds of statistics any which way. The facts will remain unchanged. Sir Don and Sachin are two greats - heads and shoulders above batsmen of their own times.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 8, 2010, 13:07 GMT)

ZA77, I've taken the liberty of drawing the only possible conclusions that you can draw from your analysis: 1. Bowlers in Bradman's era did not play many test matches so they couldn't really get 200 wickets even if they wanted to. 2. Aeroplanes are a fantastic technology, taking modern players to many more countries and allowing them to play in many grounds. 3. Bowlers are faster today than they were before. 4. It only rained a little back in the Bradman era. 5. Players are fitter now than before

Posted by ZA77 on (September 8, 2010, 10:48 GMT)

Sunil Gavaskar faced bowlers like Derek Underwood, Imran Khan, Micheal Holding, Ian Botham and Malcom Marshall. He lost his wickets 50 (12+11+11+8+8) times by these five bowlers in his career and faced others like Wasim Akram, Richard Hadlee, Denis Lillee, Joel Garner, Andy Robert, Bob Willis, John Snow, Thomson, Craig McDermot, Merv Hughes, Lance Gibbs, Abdul Qadir and Garry Sober in his whole career. All eighteen took at least 200 wickets in test cricket and played atleast 50 test matches except Robert and Snow. Bramdan lost his wickets 50 times by Verity, Bedser, Larwood, Tates, Bowes, Hammond, Yardley, Geary and then twice by Allen, Voce, Wright, Farnes, Griffith, Hazare (8+6+5+5+5+3+3+3+2+2+2+2+2+2=50) in which twelve bowlers from England and Griffith from West Indies and Hazare from India. Only one bowler with 200 or more wicket in test with 2 bowlers played 50 or more test matches Hammond and Bedser. How Don Bradman is best without playing quality attacks.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 8, 2010, 10:20 GMT)

Xoxile, also interested in seeing the results of your analysis regarding the list of including Kallis, Sobers and Ponting. But of course, you must adjust your factor now to include the fact that Bradman did it in his first 52 tests, 70 outs and 80 innings. Now that would definitely blow your random factor in Bradman's favour.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 8, 2010, 10:15 GMT)

Xoxile, don't dispute your interesting analysis. Just have some questions and suggested improvements. Why haven't you got factors which would actually bring Bradman's true ability average up, such as the lack of helmets, improved batting technology, the average batsman average in those days? Why do you assume a right-skewed distribution? Also, a lot of your factors may be irrelevant if you take into account evolutionary changes. As I've stressed, you can't just take a 1930s Bradman and put a bat in his hands in the 1980s. The test that I mentioned about in the earlier post was this: get the average of all batting averages (all batsman or top order batsman) and get the standard deviation of those averages and then see where Bradman lies in that distribution. The sample size is large enough to assume a normal distribution. Then apply that same standard deviation to the average today (calculated in the same way as above) and see where Bradman lies.

Posted by BellCurve on (September 8, 2010, 9:34 GMT)

@Jim1207 and @Paulk - about a year ago I spent the better part of a Sunday doing exactly that. I used "Number of Outs" instead of "Number of Innings". Bradman was out 70 times in his career. I do not have the information with me, but from memory Ponting, Kallis and Sobers were closest to the Don with averages just south of 80. I'll try to dig this out tonight and post the results. BTW BillyCC this analysis supports the RandomFactor of 1.2 as per my previous post

Posted by BellCurve on (September 8, 2010, 9:32 GMT)

@BillyCC - I have a long and convoluted argument that knocks Bradman off his pedestal. It's includes demographics, natural distribution (right skewed), laws & umpiring, radio revenues, gentlemen/players, Larwood's size and fitness (5ft7; drinker; smoker); sticky wickets; marl & heavy rollers, Ramprakash; Eddie Paynter; today's top players against Bangladesh/Zimbabwe - and finally - the following formula: Actual BattingAve = TrueAbilityBattingAve x WeightedBowlerAve/AveBowlerAve x ConditionsFactor x RandomFactor. For Bradman I estimate these numbers are as follows: 99.94 = 55.5 x 40/32 x 1.2 x 1.2

Posted by ZA77 on (September 8, 2010, 8:51 GMT)

Please do not compare Sir Don with others like Tendulkar due to following reason as 99.9 is more than 55.5 on pure basis.

Tendulkar played test cricket on 57 different grounds in which 14 grounds in his own country in ten different countries against 57 bowlers took 100 or more wickets in test cricket.

Fast + Fast Medium + Medium Fast + Medium + Off break + Leg Break 18 + 22 + 0 + 0 + 11 + 6 = 57

Then 29 grounds in Asia, 6 in Europe, 10 in Oceania, 7 in Africa and 5 in America in test cricket.

Continent-wise Grounds Asia + Europe + Oceania + Africa + America = 57 29 + 6 + 10 + 7 + 5 = 57.

Sir Don Bradman Fast + Fast Medium + Medium Fast + Medium + Off break + Leg Break 0 + 0 + 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 6

Fast and fast medium absent in his case and Tendulkar 40

Bradman played on 10 different grounds in which 5 in his own country in two countries (another five in England) against 6 bowlers took 100 or more wickets in test cricket with 26 timeless matches

Posted by ZA77 on (September 8, 2010, 6:43 GMT)

Some facts regarding Sir Don are, matt over concrete pitches, long distance fielding, fielders were of 30 to 50 year old, amatuer bowlers, half career timeless, all cricket in two countries, only ten grounds totally like Tendulkar played test cricket on 57 different grounds, weak bowling attacks in cricket history, never played quality wrist spinners, for finger spinner, Jim Laker was there but he played only three test matches against him. If Verity was so good why his striking rate was 113.1 in Australia. Absence of quality fast bowler, seamless bowling, never played best attack of his own era due to same team. It was very difficult to face Reilly and Grimmett on England pitches. For those arguing for uncovered pitches, these pitches were difficult after rain only and Sir Don never played any master inning on sticky pitches ulike Victor Trumper. More than 150 bowlers took 100 or more in test history and he faced only six of them. How we know his actual abilities due to these facts.

Posted by Jim1207 on (September 8, 2010, 3:15 GMT)

I hope cricinfo guys see paulk's comments and give us such kind of list. Or Paulk can fill up the feedback form of "The List" section asking the same.

Posted by waspsting on (September 8, 2010, 0:38 GMT)

@nivek123 - thomson told a story about bowling to Don round about 75/76. said Don hadn't touched a bat for 20 years at the time. Thomson himself bowled OFFSPIN, but he recalled how the young kids in the nets bowled as fast as they could to the Don. He said not one ball missed the middle of the bat.

re: Tendulkar comparisons - Tendulkar is the best bat I've seen, but this is just lunacy. Tendulkar has scores of statistical equals - lara, waugh, flower, ponting, dravid, sangakarra, yousuf (and more). Don has none.

has others have commented before - the urge to place tendulkar up with Bradman... is just heavily biased national supporters.

Nothing i or anyone else says is going to change their opinions

Posted by BillyCC on (September 7, 2010, 23:45 GMT)

Kairava, would like to see your stat but can't seem to see the link. What was your conclusion from it? There have been some books written on the subject using a whole range of factors. I have one written by Charles Davis called "The Best of the Best". Unfortunately it was written in 2000 and so doesn't include the last decade of players.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 7, 2010, 22:34 GMT)

Xoxile, also had a look at your point about the Bradman average during the MCC touring team. It was 43. The article above and my analysis confirms that the average for top and middle order batsman (positions 1 to 6) has not changed whether we are talking about the 1930s or the 2000s: it is 40 for both. So really it is the standard deviation argument that you are relying on. Don't have time to calculate it but if Bradman was 10 standard deviations better (= standard deviation of 6 back then), the standard deviation today would have to be 2 for Bradman to average 60. A standard deviation of 2 is conceptually extreme but even that puts Bradman right at the top of today's averages.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 7, 2010, 21:52 GMT)

Xoxile, I understand where you are going with the population data. I notice you haven't commented on my point about anthropology and evolution. Bradman was a statistical outlier in his time, so there is no reason why he won't be now. You can't just take him in a time machine out of the 1930s and into the 1980s, put a bat in his hand, and tell him to play. Given that you say that averages were more volatile back then, what you need to do is get the average of all batting averages (all batsman or top order batsman) and get the standard deviation of those averages and then see where Bradman lies in that distribution. The sample size is large enough to assume a normal distribution. Then apply that same standard deviation to the average today (calculated in the same way as above) and see where Bradman lies.

Posted by ravithecricbuff on (September 7, 2010, 16:45 GMT)

Sachin or Don...is there any comparison? No...its like comparing water and air...u cant do without either. We should be happy to know that we have such super humans who played the game of cricket..its a pity that so many of self proclaimed Cricket fans in general and Don fan or Sachin fan in particular argue the very ability of every one else other than the ones of whom they are fans. Get a break..Don is incomparable, Sachin is second to none..Having said that I don't like Ponting for purely non-cricketing reasons..He is no doubt a very good bat, but again he can not be compared to anyone past, present or future as he will come last in any case as he is NOT a GOOD Human..

Posted by nivek123 on (September 7, 2010, 15:16 GMT)

Whoa imagine facing Thompson at age 70. Incredible, Where can I read about it? Anyway Tendulkar doesn't need fanatics who think he is out of this world. Its because of such comments that some people ridicule Tendulkar. Tendulkar is among the greatest of all time but not the greatest. Thats Bradman. Tendulkar should be compared with guys like Lara. Even he has said that it is unfair to compare different eras. I really feel people shouldn't disrespect the legend (Bradman) by comparing him with others here. Cheers.

Posted by Paulk on (September 7, 2010, 12:48 GMT)

Here is a suggestion for a stats analysis: Bradman played 52 Tests and batted 80 innings. How about taking the best CONSECUTIVE 80 innings (highest average in 80 consecutive innings) by eachl the other great modern batsmen and comparing their average to Bradman's 99.94. I wonder who will come out on top after Bradman? Michael Hussey? It would be an interesting analysis, I think. Bradman is not my favorite batsman simply because I did not see him play, did not live through that time. My favorites would be Richards, Gower, Vishy and Adam Gilchrist. Also Steve Waugh and Allan Border. But these are subjective and personal favorites. Even I can see they dont hold a candle to Bradman.

Posted by don_corleone840 on (September 7, 2010, 12:04 GMT)

dont insult tendulkar by comparing him to lara.lara is not even fivedulkar.

Posted by nivek123 on (September 7, 2010, 10:57 GMT)

@AhmadSaleem.. Don't I sense a bit of jealousy in your comments. Why only Sangakkara and Ponting and Sehwag. Why not Yousuf, why not Inzamam, why not Imran Farhat, they are all better than Tendulkar right. Let me guess every gully cricketer in pakistan is better than Tendulkar for you.

Posted by KAIRAVA on (September 7, 2010, 10:46 GMT)

One important statistic when it comes to decining the greatness of the batsmen is the quality of the opposition bowling attack. Since this debate is a never ending one, I have compiled a stat reveals how Indian batsmen over generations have performed in matches comprising the best bowlers (whose bowling average was less than 25 over their career) of the world. If possible the cricinfo team can run a similar stat for batsmen of the rest of the countries and can arrive at some concrete evidence. The link follows in my next comment......

Posted by gr8_sachin_fan on (September 7, 2010, 9:24 GMT)

@India_boy: Its fans like u who let Sachin Tendulkar down and make him be ridiculed by regular cricket fans. So, does Tendulkar have the highest avg among the batsmen in his generation? He has played the greatest number of tests than anyone else, so has he scored the highest number of double centuries in his generation? Has he even scored the highest number of double centuries by an Indian Batsmen? Does he have the highest individual test score of his generation? or for India? How many triple centuries has he scored? Forget the statistics, which bowler today fears bowling to Tendulkar? Many have claimed the fear of Sehwag though.. Let alone any fan saying tendulkar to be best ever batsman in the world, I refuse to accept he is even the best Test batsman ever for India. That honour goes to Virendra Sehwag. And I bet you, no Sehwag fan ever needs to argue his case on such forums. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Sachin fans...

Posted by BellCurve on (September 7, 2010, 8:03 GMT)

@BillCC - Bradman relied heavily on the cross-the-line strokes to score runs. That works fine against medium pacers on good wickets, but when the speed is cranked up the risk-return relationship is disturbed. Also, Bradman may have average 56 in the Test during the 1932/33 tour, but Larwood also got him cheaply in some of the FC matches. I speak from memory, but I believe Bradman averaged around 35 against the MCC touring team that summer. Obviously you could use CricketArhive to check this. Penultimate point is the most important: Bradman was born in the 1900s when Aus had about 4 million people of whom only a handful played cricket. Today Aus has around 21 million people. I estimate the world's cricket playing population is about 80 to 100 times larger today than it was back in the 1930s. Again, you could verify this point by looking at market data for equipment sales. Last point: stats from that era are more random as pitches were either marble-like or wet and horrible.

Posted by ZA77 on (September 7, 2010, 6:56 GMT)

First of all, I am not against anyone but when asking for best, criteria should be for best of the best. For those who said why his average is best among his peers. Reasons are in timeless matches, other had to face Grimmett or Reilly or both at a time so they had to face 120 to 150 overs for wrist spinners or 60 to 75 overs at a time. It means 2-3 Shane Warne at a time. Shane Warne overall overs per match is 47 only. Also in limited days matches, they had to face both bowlers at a time or anyone atleast then Gregory and IronMonger were also there. Like Sutcliff average was 66.85 against Australia and Sir Don 89.78 against England but he faced supreme bowlers of his era and Sir Don second best attack of his era. Almost timeess matches were arranged by Australia so Sir Don not only had advantage of home grounds but also advantage of weak bowling attacks. Only his team batsmen could take same advantage of bowling but they were unable to prove as they came after great depression.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2010, 6:36 GMT)

there is no doubt don bradmen is the best batsman in the history of cricket .Every cricket follower will agree. the question is that who is the second best .

Posted by BillyCC on (September 7, 2010, 3:46 GMT)

masumaman, there are a whole host of batsman who can push their claims. Tendulkar, Kallis, Ponting, Lara, Sangakkara, Dravid and Sehwag are all examples of current generation players. Richards, Border, Gavaskar, Miandad, Gower are examples from the previous generation. And before that, there was Sobers, Pollock, Barrington etc. Basically, there are not many stats that separate these players and so you have to rely on anecdotes, research and personal judgment. For me, I would like to see how Sangakkara develops in the coming five years. Otherwise, I would go with Tendulkar as the greatest in the current generation.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 7, 2010, 3:25 GMT)

Xoxile, nice try on your stat about Ramprakash but no cigar. His average over the last ten years in Country cricket First Class matches has been 74, still 25 runs shy of Bradman who had an even more imposing first class record spanning many more matches. Nevertheless, your argument is still flawed. Had he been selected, he may well have done excellently in the Test match arena. Techniques can improve over time and Ramprakash may well have brought his average to 50 in Test cricket given the opportunity. Obviously no one can predict this. And don't be sick and tired of people saying Bradman is in a league of his own. He is, the stats prove it. Only when you apply your rule of dividing pre-1950s players averages by 2, does Bradman look like "just one of the greats" with an average of 50. Now where do you get that ratio of 2 exactly. Probably something you plucked out of thin air just like a lot of Bradman doubters.

Posted by BillyCC on (September 7, 2010, 2:48 GMT)

Xoxile, we know that Larwood won the battle of Bodyline, but Bradman went on to win the war and even in a losing battle, he averaged 56. You need to explain why Bradman had a dodgy technique, otherwise your point that Bradman would have failed against all these fast bowlers you mention is invalid. Now obviously, Bradman from the 1930s and 1940s taken into a time machine and transported into the 1980s most likely would have failed. He would not be able to adjust to the technology, fitness, the environment etc. But anthropology and evolution does not work that way. So even if you do explain how his technique was dodgy, you have to then explain why Bradman born in 1960 could not have translated his apparent talent in the 1930s and 1940s into the environment of the 1980s. Now obviously, you can't do this, so the stats are the telling factor. He continues to be more than 1.5 times better than the next best out of all generations including his own.

Posted by   on (September 7, 2010, 2:26 GMT)

Every sport and every field has/should have one GREAT representative. Like Roger(tennis), Schumacher(F1), Clint Eastwood(movies) and so on. Sir Don Bradman is a genius unequalled, or may be equalled but he is by far a true, legendary Cricketing icon. I love this sport, Cricket. I am really glad that we have a DON representing this wonderful game

Posted by   on (September 7, 2010, 1:19 GMT)

Bradman was the best batsman and Garfield Sobers was the best all rounder. There is no doubt there, say what you want the numbers will bear it out. Guyanese

Posted by ZA77 on (September 6, 2010, 23:26 GMT)

Dear Ahmed Saleem and Neutral fans, please list the name of all seam bowlers faced by Sir Don. Larwood was the fastest but unable to take 100 wickets in career. If he was so good why his bowling average was more than 40 without body line series against Australia, 1268 / 31 = 40.9. Googly was always, problem for Sir Don, even when he played googly first time, he said it was very difficult for me to face boosey and in last innings again completely dominated by Hollies . Also he always had problem to face bouncers, what happened if he had to face bouncers against W. Indies and they were planning for body line series. Larwood was only 5 feet 8 inches and Garner 6 feet 8 inches. For me, atleast bowler should took 100 or more like from 1927 to 1947, Hammond played 85 test why not other, atleast 35 to 40. It means there main focus was not cricket as 35-40 test are enough to take 100 wickets in test. He started his career after great depression so overall talent in pool were at initial level.

Posted by masumaman on (September 6, 2010, 23:02 GMT)

It is True that no batsman is that great as Bradman is and no one will ever be. But i want to know who is after Bradman? tendulkar or lara? strange thing is tendulkar does not feature in any of the mentioned statistics. so basically he is only a good ODI player not test. Now considering playing number of teams, i would like to know Lara's average against AUS, ENG, SA and SRI. i guess that will be really good. and if u consider only ENG and AUS does it take past 100? if it does or nearly, lara is definately the best batsmen after bradman to ever play the game (not tendulkar) (if not more than Bradman).

Posted by AhmadSaleem on (September 6, 2010, 19:08 GMT)

@khmayecha: I was a big fan of Miandad but Don is best. As far as Sachin is concerned, he is not even the best Indian batsman. Sunny was better and Miandad of pre 90s was great every where against every attack. His average never fell below 50 even once in his entire career. He was averaging 55 in 1990 which was best for any batsman during 1976_1990, better than Sir Viv and Sunny. This was the era of best bowlers so only three averaged above 50 and all of them are better than Sachin Tendulkar. Even Lara, Ponting and Sangakkara are better. But bottomline is Don is the best batsman of all generations uptill now

Posted by gr8_sachin_fan on (September 6, 2010, 18:58 GMT)

@India_boy: Its fans like u who let Sachin Tendulkar down and make him be ridiculed by regular cricket fans. So, does Tendulkar have the highest avg among the batsmen in his generation? He has played the greatest number of tests than anyone else, so has he scored the highest number of double centuries in his generation? Has he even scored the highest number of double centuries by an Indian Batsmen? Does he have the highest individual test score of his generation? or for India? How many triple centuries has he scored? Forget the statistics, which bowler today fears bowling to Tendulkar? Many have claimed the fear of Sehwag though.. Let alone any fan saying tendulkar to be best ever batsman in the world, I refuse to accept he is even the best Test batsman ever for India. That honour goes to Virendra Sehwag. And I bet you, no Sehwag fan ever needs to argue his case on such forums. Sadly, the same cannot be said for Sachin fans...

Posted by Sach_is_Life on (September 6, 2010, 18:57 GMT)

Don was arguably THE Best batsmen ever 2 play this game..But no need 2 degrade any other greats..they're in their own league.. But guys..plz stop doubting Don..even if u say that he didnt hav to face technology,top class bowlers,different conditions..but common ..that guy averages 99.94..what is the next best?

Posted by AhmadSaleem on (September 6, 2010, 18:56 GMT)

@ ZA77 : I dont think Larwood and co were medium pacers. His last dismissal was of a googly and surely and if you judge the quality of bowlers by their scalps then how good is Harbhajan Singh? And come on, Sangakkara, Lara and Ponting are better than SRT, even Dravid and Sehwag for that matter.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2010, 18:27 GMT)

Who was Sachin Tendulkar ?

Posted by sinxad on (September 6, 2010, 17:38 GMT)

bradman played england a million times,Tendulkar plays sri lanka a million times.so whats the big fuss.

Posted by   on (September 6, 2010, 17:12 GMT)

Waooo

Great Man have great stats

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 6, 2010, 15:38 GMT)

I correct myself, there WERE GOOGLIES, he was bowled for duck by 1 in his final inning. Watch the footage of him on Cricinfo, some of the pitches were ridiculous, large muddy patches were literally scattered on the pitch. If that isn't "variation" of conditions, I don't know what is.

Posted by Iyer_Brain on (September 6, 2010, 14:13 GMT)

Bradman is Bradman. Nobody else can be compared to him... He is probably the best sportsman of the 20th Century.

Posted by khmayecha on (September 6, 2010, 14:10 GMT)

It is injustice to a few other greats to say that Bradman was the best...statistically yes....and yes surely one of the best...We should not forget that he was in the best team of his era and he always faced bowlers of a lesser team. While guys like tendulkar and miandad faced a battery of lightening bowlers for 20 long years and have stood tall - really tall. If bradman had played for 20 years...there's no way his average would close to where it is. Yes, I do agree to his greatness that no player has averaged his average at any period his career. Hats off the Bradman - but no one can say a few oher cricketeres were lesser...

Posted by balajireddy on (September 6, 2010, 13:51 GMT)

We could say Bradman is 'statistically' the best batsman. After that to each his own. there may be some people who like Viv Richards, others who like Border. There is no such thing as the best batsman ever... everyone is good in their own way, and followers of no single batsman can say he was the best. Some players are best in some conditions, some in polar opposite conditions. It is a subjective analysis, something that hsould not be made with numbers...

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 6, 2010, 13:04 GMT)

Here we go the, the petty persons who would find an excuse for everything have popped up.@ZA77, those "amateurs in ENG" whipped SA,IND,W.I.,NZ for yrs until W.I. and SA rose up. NZ and IND took forever to beat them ANYWHERE. Doesn't that tell u something? Are u going to be blind about that too? Bradman playing against Eng as often as he did meant he played either against the best or the 2nd best team of the time often. True he never played bowlers who had developed a googly or reverse swing but there WAS SEAM. The pitches were UNCOVERED, not like the roads now. Both eras have pros and cons. If things were so easy, how come none of his peers could come close? @Jim1207, player A is 50 points better than his nearest peer and player B from a different era is 15 points better than his peers. So A is greater .Thats all I was trying to say. @arvin, Tony Greig said Bradman did drop by the subcontinent and he did well. Ponting never played on uncovered wkts, makes him any less of a bat?

Posted by   on (September 6, 2010, 13:01 GMT)

The comments here just exude jealousy. Some of the remarks are so contrived and elaborate (for the purpose of denigrating Bradman) I actually laughed out loud when I read them. The bottom line is based on both people who witnessed him play and his raw statistics he is undoubtedly the greatest batsman of all time. Heres the proof: there can only be two explanations for the ridiculous disparity in numbers between Bradman and his contemporaries. Either:

1. Bradman was freakishly gifted

OR

2. Bradman's average only seemed so inflated because he was somewhat talented and EVERY single other batsman were mediocre, AND the conditions/bowlers in those days meant a talented batsman could score around a century average.

You make the choice.

Posted by KAIRAVA on (September 6, 2010, 11:35 GMT)

(CONT'D)

The only batsman to have averaged more than 50 before WW1 was Jack Hobbs (Avg: 57.8 in 28 mathces).

STAGE 2: The period between the two World Wars was golden period for batsmen. All in all, there were 14 batsmen (Qual- Min 500 runs) to have averaged more than 55, during the said period, which was significant. Comparatively the only bowler to have averaged 20 or less per wkt was spinner Bert Ironmonger (Bowl Avg: 17.94).

STAGE 3: From the end of the second world war till the advent of ODIs was a period of introspection. There were some pitches that favoured the batsmen and some favoured the bowlers. Overall in general, some sanity returned to test cricket as there were more equal contests between the bat & the ball. Bowling averages increased to acceptable levels (18-24) while batsmen still prospered.

Stage 4: Since the advent of ODI's the pace at which the test matches are played increased. More batsmen friendly rules were introduced. Overall quality of cricket improved.

Posted by EdwardTLogan on (September 6, 2010, 11:14 GMT)

I cannot believe all the muppets posting comments degrading Bradman's achievements. The only thing one can is compare the raw statistics. There are too many other variables (uncovered pitches v the current law limiting the number of bouncers in an over) to compare players of differrent eras. No one before, during or Bradman's career has come close to achieving an average of even two-thirds of Bradman's. He is far and away the best batsman ever. That is all!

Posted by KAIRAVA on (September 6, 2010, 11:08 GMT)

If we to divide test in 4 different phases, we can arrive at a conclusion why Bradman had an average of close to 100 & why no other batsman of subsequent generation never came even close to him.

STAGE 1 : 1877 to 1914 (start of World War 1) ; STAGE 2 : 1918 to 1939 (start of World War 2) ; STAGE 3 : 1946 to 1974 (advent of ODIs) ; STAGE 4 : 1974 till Present.

STAGE 1 was a golden period for bowlers where both fast bowlers & spinners prospered as most of the pitches during this period was under-prepared. Bowlers who averaged an incredible 18 runs per wkt or less (Qual - 50 wkts) include fast bowlers like Lohmann, JJ Ferris, Billy Barnes, Sydney Barnes, Frederick Spofforth & spinners like Billy Bates, Charlie Turner, Bobby Peel, Johnny Briggs, Bert Ironmonger & Charlie Blythe. Just for comparison,(Qual- Min 50 test wkts.) the only fast bowler after the WW2 to have an average close to 18 if Frank Tyson who played in the 50s. The next best spinner was Jim Laker (Avg: 21). (CONTINUED)

Posted by   on (September 6, 2010, 10:29 GMT)

Quit kidding guys .....Bradman is unarguably the best cricketer of all time....A true cricket legend.... Sachin is not even in his league

Posted by SriramNatarajan on (September 6, 2010, 9:50 GMT)

@Hemant: check your stats.. Bradman has only 2 triple hundreds.. and he scored a 299 not out though!

Posted by bkraks21 on (September 6, 2010, 9:10 GMT)

@ZA77 - Very well said. I think too much is made about the 99.96 avg. Also in those times opposition lacked technology which could scrutinise the opposition. He was great in his own era. No one will ever know for sure how he would have done in the current era or how well the current greats would have done in his era. So lets not compare Apples with Oranges.

Posted by Jim1207 on (September 6, 2010, 9:05 GMT)

@_NEUTRAL_Fan_: You emphasize on only comparing peers, but finally state that he is the best batsman of all time! What an irony!! I agree that he is the best batsman of all time, but players of future era could not get an average of 99 not because no one could come close to Bradman's technique or ability but because of so many valid reasons. We cannot devalue any batsman of any era saying that he is not equal to Bradman. Each era had beautiful batsmen glorifying Cricket, which is why we watch even now. Every classical batsman who has achieved greatness is no less than Bradman and Bradman was surely a legend of all time.

Posted by BellCurve on (September 6, 2010, 8:42 GMT)

The only time Bradman was really challenged was by Larwood during the 1932/33 tour. And we all know who won that battle - Harold Larwood. If Bradman faced Ambrose, Marshall, Garner, Donald or Steyn he would have struggled to average more than 50. The best person to compare Bradman with is Ramprakash, who has been averaging 80+ in County cricket for the last 10 years. But when Ramprakash was really tested he didn't amount to much. Bradman had dodgy technique and would have been found out both against top quality pace and top quality spin. He is not in the league of Tendulkar, Ponting, Lara and Kallis. I am sick and tired of everyone always saying he is in a league of his own. Some Aussies even go as far as claiming he is the greatest sportsman of all time. That is just rubbish. Think about it: there were about 5 guys averaging around 60 during the Bradman era and Bradman came in just short of 100. I say we should divide all their averages by 2. That sounds about right.

Posted by arvin on (September 6, 2010, 8:06 GMT)

bradman was a home pitches but a smart guy... he knew outside eng/aus he may not be able to score runs freely so never visited and played on turning tracks of sub-continent or fast pitches of sa/wi... he mostly played against friendly english bowling attacks... if performance in matches against specific countries is criteria with 2/3 home series thrown in to make it look like batting against all teams then sobers/miandad/richards/lara/sachin and many more will come equal or better than media hyped don bradman who might have been a good batsman but certainly was not the best... and as a complete cricketer he will be way down the list coz he got no other skills than hitting english bowling friends in friendly conditions...

Posted by ZA77 on (September 6, 2010, 7:22 GMT)

It is not good idea to compare Sir Don with others. Sir Don career has too much limitations. The bowling attacks faced by him was weakest one in the history of cricket.

He played total cricket on ten grounds in two countries with 26 timeless matches. There is no concept of globalization. He played 80% innings against the amatuer bowlers of England.

Almost Seamless bowling, never faced quality googly bowler, never played quality fast bowler. Only six bowlers took 100 or more in career faced by him in which three came after world war II. From 1931 to 1937, no bowler with 100 or more. In these six bowlers, no fast bowler is there, even fast medium is not there. Medium fast only one, medium one, three finger spinners and one wrist spinner.

So I think he is the best of his own era but if we talk about best of the best. Please do not compare him with others on pure statistic basis. Like Tendulkar is facing England one out of nine teams in which one day cricket is not included.

Posted by _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on (September 6, 2010, 5:56 GMT)

All those arguments have holes in it! Just as there are NO EXCUSES for glaringly poor performances, e.g conceding 600+ runs or getting bowled out for under 100 (once the opposition scores 200+), there are NO EXPLANATIONS for talking down an avg. of nearly 100 over 50+ tests. Every era has its pros and cons, that is why u COMPARE PEERS. If the difference between some1 and their peers is massive, thats all there is to it. The fielding was worse but so were the bats. The opposition teams were less, therefore the quality was guaranteed. They played less matches but they traveled much rougher and 1 coud go on. Its so annoying hearing all these little minor reasons as to why Bradman's avg. is arguable, almost all coming from persons who wouldn't have a thing to say if he came from their country! Here's a secret, I never once backed Aus ever but as a true cricket fan, I have to acknowledge that Bradman's stats are simply far the best of all time and he is clearly the best batsman of all time.

Posted by Jkgsrt on (September 6, 2010, 5:33 GMT)

breadman was the greatest cricketer of all time. no one can compare him. he is so good that a person of his caliber can not meet in any sport.

Posted by hemant.brar on (September 6, 2010, 5:13 GMT)

Three triple hundreds...if one is writing about Bradman, one cannot make such a big mistake and that too on cricinfo and legend of cricket series. Please correct it as there are some young people also reading these articles.

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S RajeshClose
S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.

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