November 9, 2011

Who is closest to Bradman, Lohmann and Garner?

Which batsman, after the Don, has the best average over a 52-Test sequence? Are there bowlers with averages and economy rates comparable to those of George Lohmann and Joel Garner?
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The gold standard in Test batting averages is Don Bradman's 99.94, achieved during a 52-match career. In bowling averages, it belongs to George Lohmann, who took wickets at 10.75 apiece in 18 Tests. In one-day internationals, Joel Garner's economy rate of 3.09 over 98 matches is far lower than those of the rest. These figures remain unsurpassed by anyone over the length of an entire career. A reader, however, wanted to know whether a batsman had enjoyed a sequence of 52 Tests as purple as Bradman's. We decided to find out, and also dig up bowlers who matched Lohmann and Garner during equivalent sequences of 18 Tests and 98 ODIs.

Bradman batted 80 innings in 52 Tests, scored 6996 runs at an average of 99.94, with 29 hundreds and 13 half-centuries. No one has come within 25 runs of that average or within 1000 runs of that aggregate in 52 consecutive Tests. Ricky Ponting was closest, relatively speaking, during his glory years between 2002 and 2006. During that time, Ponting scored 5813 runs at an average of 74.52, with 23 hundreds and 29 half-centuries. He averaged more than 50 against every team except Sri Lanka, against whom he made only 487 runs in eight innings at an average of 33. Ponting had several other hot streaks of 52 Tests, most beginning just before or after the one just cited, but we've included only his best in the table below.

Before Ponting, the player who had the most productive 52-Test streak was Garry Sobers. He played those matches for West Indies over 11 years, between 1957 and 1968, scoring 5468 runs in 88 innings at an average of 72.90. Before that period began, Sobers had averaged only 29.55, with no centuries, in 13 Tests from debut in 1954 to 1957. During those 52 Tests, however, Sobers also took 141 wickets at an average 33.59, giving him claim to the title of cricket's greatest allrounder.

Jacques Kallis also had an impressive all-round record during a sequence of 52 Tests between 2001 and 2006. He scored 5127 runs at an average of 71.20 - the fourth best after Bradman, Ponting and Sobers - and also took 106 wickets at 36 apiece.

Best batting average over a span of 52 Tests
Player Start Date End Date Mat Inns NO Runs Ave 100 50
DG Bradman (Aus) Nov 30, 1928 Aug 18, 1948 52 80 10 6996 99.94 29 13
RT Ponting (Aus) Mar 8, 2002 Nov 27, 2006 52 92 14 5813 74.52 23 20
GS Sobers (WI) Aug 22, 1957 Apr 3, 1968 52 88 13 5468 72.90 19 20
JH Kallis (ICC/SA) Apr 19, 2001 May 1, 2006 52 91 19 5127 71.20 17 25
R Dravid (India) Nov 18, 2000 Sep 16, 2005 52 86 13 4883 66.89 14 21
KF Barrington (Eng) Nov 11, 1961 Aug 28, 1967 52 84 12 4783 66.43 16 22
Mohammad Yousuf (Pak) Nov 15, 2000 Oct 12, 2007 52 87 8 5247 66.41 20 18
SR Tendulkar (India) Apr 4, 1997 Nov 3, 2002 52 86 8 5177 66.37 20 17
KC Sangakkara (SL) Aug 11, 2004 Nov 27, 2010 52 89 8 5352 66.07 19 18
WR Hammond (Eng) Nov 30, 1928 Jan 7, 1937 52 87 12 4827 64.36 16 13
L Hutton (Eng) Jan 31, 1947 Jun 15, 1954 52 92 13 5072 64.20 14 27
SR Waugh (Aus) Jun 3, 1993 Oct 5, 1998 52 83 18 4134 63.60 11 23
Javed Miandad (Pak) Jan 3, 1983 Dec 6, 1989 52 73 5 4240 62.35 14 16
Inzamam-ul-Haq (ICC/Pak) Mar 12, 1999 Jan 17, 2006 52 86 9 4796 62.28 18 20
ML Hayden (Aus) Feb 27, 2001 Mar 13, 2005 52 92 10 5077 61.91 19 17
IVA Richards (WI) Jan 31, 1976 Jun 18, 1984 52 74 2 4456 61.88 15 20
H Sutcliffe (Eng) Jun 14, 1924 Aug 22, 1934 52 81 9 4453 61.84 16 22
DPMD Jayawardene (SL) Mar 24, 2004 Nov 20, 2009 52 88 6 5026 61.29 17 15
BC Lara (ICC/WI) Apr 6, 2001 Nov 23, 2006 52 93 2 5576 61.27 19 17
JB Hobbs (Eng) Jun 14, 1909 Jun 17, 1930 52 85 5 4897 61.21 15 24

Lohmann played only 18 Tests between his debut in 1886 and 1896, and took 112 wickets at an average of 10.75. He still possesses the best strike rate (34.1) and is the quickest to 100 wickets (16 Tests). There was someone, however, who had an 18-match patch that was better than Lohmann's.

Johnny Briggs, who bowled left-arm orthodox for England between 1884 and 1899, finished his career with 118 wickets in 33 Tests at an average of 17.75. In 18 consecutive Tests, though, Briggs took 72 wickets at an average of 9.79.

In the table below, Muttiah Muralitharan is the only bowler whose entire 18-match sequence occurred in the 21st century. Murali averaged 17.42 during that period, between 2003 and 2005, and took 128 wickets, a tally that is second only to Sydney Barnes' 139. Barnes took 18 five-fors and six ten-wicket match hauls during his 18-Test stretch.

Best bowling average over a span of 18 Tests (qualification: 2000 balls)
Player Start Date End Date Mat Balls Runs Wkts Ave 5 10
J Briggs (Eng) Jan 1, 1885 Mar 28, 1892 18 2248 705 72 9.79 7 3
GA Lohmann (Eng) Jul 5, 1886 Jun 24, 1896 18 3830 1205 112 10.75 9 5
Imran Khan (Pak) Oct 14, 1982 Nov 25, 1986 18 3663 1378 98 14.06 7 2
JC Laker (Eng) Aug 13, 1955 Jul 8, 1958 18 5288 1402 97 14.45 6 2
SF Barnes (Eng) Jul 1, 1909 Feb 18, 1914 18 5211 2058 139 14.80 18 6
GAR Lock (Eng) Jul 12, 1956 Mar 18, 1959 18 4485 1197 80 14.96 7 3
W Barnes (Eng) Jan 19, 1883 Aug 12, 1890 18 2034 704 46 15.30 3 0
JH Wardle (Eng) Jun 10, 1954 Feb 20, 1957 18 4156 1212 77 15.74 5 1
MD Marshall (WI) Apr 26, 1985 Jul 5, 1988 18 4164 1779 110 16.17 6 2
SM Pollock (SA) Aug 6, 1998 Mar 6, 2000 18 4262 1488 92 16.17 6 0
AV Bedser (Eng) Aug 12, 1950 Jun 16, 1953 18 5265 1590 98 16.22 9 3
RJ Hadlee (NZ) Feb 3, 1984 Mar 17, 1986 18 4710 1868 113 16.53 10 3
GD McGrath (Aus) Nov 26, 1999 Aug 4, 2001 18 4146 1525 92 16.57 5 2
CEL Ambrose (WI) Jun 6, 1991 Mar 30, 1994 18 4929 1710 102 16.76 8 2
DL Underwood (Eng) Jun 20, 1968 Mar 1, 1971 18 5024 1444 86 16.79 7 3
Waqar Younis (Pak) Oct 18, 1990 Dec 6, 1993 18 3851 1968 117 16.82 14 3
R Peel (Eng) Feb 20, 1885 Aug 12, 1896 18 4306 1473 87 16.93 4 1
J Garner (WI) Mar 3, 1978 Mar 18, 1981 18 4149 1431 84 17.03 1 0
AK Davidson (Aus) Feb 7, 1958 Jan 18, 1961 18 5488 1789 104 17.20 8 2
M Muralitharan (ICC/SL) May 3, 2003 Dec 6, 2005 18 5692 2230 128 17.42 11 3

Garner played 98 one-day internationals between 1977 and 1987 and took 146 wickets at an average of 18.84. His most outstanding stat, however, was his economy - 3.09 per over. The next best economy rate belongs to Australian fast bowler Max Walker, but he played only 17 ODIs.

None of the other great bowlers, who played more matches than Garner did, have as miserly a 98-match sequence. Richard Hadlee came closest, finishing a 115-match career with an economy rate of 3.30, and conceding only 3.20 per over in 98 ODIs between March 1975 and January 1988.

Zimbabwe spinner Ray Price is perhaps the most surprising name in the table below. He has played 98 consecutive ODIs with an economy rate of 3.90. Price has, in fact, the best economy rate among present one-day bowlers, and is a fraction more miserly than Murali was too.

Best economy rate over a span of 98 ODIs (qualification: 1000 balls)
Player Start Date End Date Mat Balls Runs Wkts Ave Econ 5 4
J Garner (WI) Mar 16, 1977 Mar 28, 1987 98 5330 2752 146 18.84 3.09 3 2
RJ Hadlee (NZ) Mar 8, 1975 Jan 17, 1988 98 5216 2786 136 20.48 3.20 4 1
M Muralitharan (SL) Dec 15, 1999 Feb 20, 2004 98 5301 2888 172 16.79 3.26 5 6
MA Holding (WI) Jun 16, 1979 Jan 30, 1987 98 5245 2903 136 21.34 3.32 1 4
MD Marshall (WI) May 28, 1980 Jan 14, 1989 98 5237 2905 127 22.87 3.32 0 4
CEL Ambrose (WI) Feb 26, 1991 Jan 3, 1997 98 5214 2938 120 24.48 3.38 2 1
EJ Chatfield (NZ) Jan 10, 1981 Mar 16, 1988 98 5159 2965 123 24.10 3.44 0 3
GD McGrath (Aus/ICC) Jun 9, 2001 Jan 21, 2007 98 4926 2880 146 19.72 3.50 3 3
SM Pollock (Afr/ICC/SA) Jan 25, 2004 Jan 27, 2008 98 4944 2915 104 28.02 3.53 1 2
Imran Khan (Pak) Aug 31, 1974 Oct 16, 1987 98 4050 2399 106 22.63 3.55 1 2
N Kapil Dev (India) Mar 27, 1988 Apr 2, 1994 98 4872 2928 107 27.36 3.60 0 2
Wasim Akram (Pak) Dec 13, 1992 Jan 20, 1997 98 5171 3151 151 20.86 3.65 3 8
CA Walsh (WI) Feb 13, 1993 Sep 12, 1999 98 5089 3131 110 28.46 3.69 0 2
GR Larsen (NZ) Mar 1, 1990 Dec 6, 1997 98 5242 3243 94 34.50 3.71 0 1
CJ McDermott (Aus) Oct 13, 1987 Feb 23, 1996 98 5245 3371 156 21.60 3.85 1 3
DL Vettori (ICC/NZ) Jul 4, 2004 Feb 6, 2009 98 5044 3259 122 26.71 3.87 2 4
PAJ DeFreitas (Eng) Jan 5, 1987 Feb 22, 1996 98 5472 3558 111 32.05 3.90 0 1
WPUJC Vaas (SL) Jan 14, 2001 Oct 9, 2004 98 4844 3152 138 22.84 3.90 2 4
RW Price (Zim) Sep 14, 2002 Oct 22, 2011 98 5134 3345 97 34.48 3.90 0 1
RA Harper (WI) Feb 4, 1984 Apr 3, 1996 98 4770 3122 90 34.68 3.92 0 3

Travis Basevi is a cricket statistician and UK Senior Programmer for ESPNcricinfo and other ESPN sports websites. George Binoy is an Assistant Editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BillyCC on November 12, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    There is a lot of rubbish being trotted out on this forum by people who clearly haven't done their research and are just looking for some excuses mainly as to why Tendulkar is better than Bradman. Luckily, the statistics don't show that, and the commentaries from the majority of expert cricketers, sports historians and journalists all put Bradman as number one. By majority, I mean that if you ask 10000 of those experts who is the greatest batsman of all time, it would not be inconceivable to see 9994 of them vote for Bradman and a vote here and there for Sobers, Tendulkar, Hobbs, Hutton, Richards etc. Similarly with the "greatest cricketer" tag, that one goes to Sobers hands down.

  • BillyCC on November 12, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @Xolile, whilst I agree that it could be a matter of faith for a lot of people, it is also clearly a matter of science that can prove the greatness of Bradman. There was a post from Spider1972 that Bradman was sick for much of the Bodyline season. Haven't investigated thoroughly on this, but if that was the case, then an average of 40 in that season is actually great. The 80% of deliveries that he faced from medium to slow bowlers is an evolution thing, there were no genuinely fast bowlers at the time with the speeds of Thomson, Steyn, Lee, the West Indians etc. And when Larwood came on the scene during Bodyline, it was not the pace but the tactics that would have undone most batsman including Bradman. Having a bowler aim the ball from around the wicket at your head or just below the head with leg-side fieldsmen would worry all batsman. Had the tactics been allowed today, batsmen averages would come down even with the invention of helmets.

  • Krutik_P on November 12, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Bradman played in an era when quality of bowling wasn't even average. Although, he never batted with helmet. I would like to see how the other batsmen in Bradman era fared and what was the bowling strike of the bowlers in Bradman era. Tendulkar is a great batsman because he has played for 2 and a half decades in different conditions, against different bowlers. Don't forget Bradman played only tests, while everyone else in the list played ODIs too! Bradman for the most of his life played against England. He'd grown immune to the English conditions and their bowlers. Scoring against the same team consistently is easier. Cricket in those days was way way newer. Nowadays, technology has advanced which makes the bowlers powerful. Bradman was the greatest but the bowling attack those days, weren't the greatest. People often forget that.

  • Scube on November 11, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    @Sankara: Even Osamas & Gaddafis will claim themselves to be True Blue Muslims, but I'm not sure if majority of muslims would agree to it! I don't see any problem with the article per se as an interesting number crunching exercise that shows the Don's greatness in good light! But, it's meaningless to suggest that if he had played in the modern era, his average would have been even higher playing against the likes of BD & Zimbabwe! Well, the Windies, SAs and the Indians of the 30s and 40s are equally bad as any of the current minnows if not worse! So, the only worthy opponents to the Aussies then were the English alone! But, this should not take away anything from Don's achievements or greatness simply because he was head, shoulders & hips above anyone from his era playing in similar conditions! The comparison of the God of lesser mortals with the Don didn't start when Sachin scored 50 centuries or 10K runs but by the Don himself when he had hardly scored a few thousand runs!

  • yaa_right on November 11, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    If don bradman is the greatest test batsman (judging mostly by his avg.) then muttiah muralidaran is the greatest test bowler (judging by no. of wickets per test match and also highest no. of wickets), period.

  • on November 11, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    id like to see bradman playing an in swinging yorker from shoaib akhtar at his peak or malinga now. im pretty sure the fastest bowlers in his time were in todays miduem pacer range. put tendulkar or inzimam or sangakara in those times and i doubt any of the bowlers at that time would be able to get them out. no use comparing people from different generations

  • ZA77 on November 11, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Don test average of 99.94 and a first class average of 95. Apply bowling average of 10.7 in test and 13.3 of Lohmann to all well known bowlers and then they are half of him all. Brett Lee average near to 31 and him near to single figure suggest what. Where you are seeing these bowlers in the same light. Warne bowling average is near to 26. Are you ready to accept he is only 40% of Lohmann. Exact less than half only. McGrath also exact half of him and Lillee near to 24, only 45% of him. It means two Lillee equal to one Lohmann. Loahmann is statistically the best so we should decide it that he is the best as his average is just near to single figure JUST like Bradman near to triple figure. For me Warne is one of the best test bowler, not because only of average. Can we say Marshall is half of Loahmann becasue his average is almost double of him. What other guys suggest.

  • ZA77 on November 11, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Don peers not come close to him in average. His almost all peers belongs to Australia and England and they were only playing Ashes series. Australia bowling was one the best in history so in timeless matches almost arranged by Australia, it became impossible to play two greatest leg break bowlers (Miley, Grimmet, O Reilly)at a time if they were bowling more than 200 overs per match. Also in England conditions helped Leg break bowlers. So 150 or more overs were enough to send England back to Pavilion twice. Only Don Bradman team batsman could have same advantage but unable to prove. See Headley maintained batting average of 71.2 against England as compare to Bradman 89.78 but Headley had not have timeless matches on home ground advantage. Also he came from other country to adopt conditions against England. When two or three teams are there, disadvantage goes to whom who came from entire other. Fact was that he was better with elegancy and ability to play on wet wicket.

  • on November 11, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    I personally think Don Bradman was Great Player of his time...Now cricket has changed too much n now its far more complicated than it was before...He mainly scored against one opposition n in similar conditions but still other players of his time also enjoyed these advantages but still he stood high among em...It was classical cricket which is now over...There is no point of comparing Bradman's statistics with modern cricketers who perform in totally differnt environment.

  • ZA77 on November 11, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Why people compare Bradman with Tendulkar. I am unable to understand and than make their own judgement that Don is the best. Tenduklar played on 57 different grounds with 57 bowlers took 100 or more wickets in test cricket. Bradman only six in which five from same country with ten grounds totally. He played in two countries only it means cricket without globalization. Had he played toe crushers, in swing, out swing, leg cutter, in cutter, zooter of Shane Warne, Doosra of Murli, flipper of Kumble, no no so why he is no. 1. Just of statistic acheivement. For me, Tenduklar is way ahead of him with proving himself against the giants of bowling. Main thing is attack and Tendulkar played best attacks of the world like when he played AUS. Lee, Gillispie, Warne and McGrath was there. One swing, two seam and one wrist spinner. There is no chance of survival if your technique is slightly wrong. That is why his average is 60.6 against AUS with 11 centuries and 13 half centuries runs socred 3151.

  • BillyCC on November 12, 2011, 20:43 GMT

    There is a lot of rubbish being trotted out on this forum by people who clearly haven't done their research and are just looking for some excuses mainly as to why Tendulkar is better than Bradman. Luckily, the statistics don't show that, and the commentaries from the majority of expert cricketers, sports historians and journalists all put Bradman as number one. By majority, I mean that if you ask 10000 of those experts who is the greatest batsman of all time, it would not be inconceivable to see 9994 of them vote for Bradman and a vote here and there for Sobers, Tendulkar, Hobbs, Hutton, Richards etc. Similarly with the "greatest cricketer" tag, that one goes to Sobers hands down.

  • BillyCC on November 12, 2011, 20:31 GMT

    @Xolile, whilst I agree that it could be a matter of faith for a lot of people, it is also clearly a matter of science that can prove the greatness of Bradman. There was a post from Spider1972 that Bradman was sick for much of the Bodyline season. Haven't investigated thoroughly on this, but if that was the case, then an average of 40 in that season is actually great. The 80% of deliveries that he faced from medium to slow bowlers is an evolution thing, there were no genuinely fast bowlers at the time with the speeds of Thomson, Steyn, Lee, the West Indians etc. And when Larwood came on the scene during Bodyline, it was not the pace but the tactics that would have undone most batsman including Bradman. Having a bowler aim the ball from around the wicket at your head or just below the head with leg-side fieldsmen would worry all batsman. Had the tactics been allowed today, batsmen averages would come down even with the invention of helmets.

  • Krutik_P on November 12, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    Bradman played in an era when quality of bowling wasn't even average. Although, he never batted with helmet. I would like to see how the other batsmen in Bradman era fared and what was the bowling strike of the bowlers in Bradman era. Tendulkar is a great batsman because he has played for 2 and a half decades in different conditions, against different bowlers. Don't forget Bradman played only tests, while everyone else in the list played ODIs too! Bradman for the most of his life played against England. He'd grown immune to the English conditions and their bowlers. Scoring against the same team consistently is easier. Cricket in those days was way way newer. Nowadays, technology has advanced which makes the bowlers powerful. Bradman was the greatest but the bowling attack those days, weren't the greatest. People often forget that.

  • Scube on November 11, 2011, 15:30 GMT

    @Sankara: Even Osamas & Gaddafis will claim themselves to be True Blue Muslims, but I'm not sure if majority of muslims would agree to it! I don't see any problem with the article per se as an interesting number crunching exercise that shows the Don's greatness in good light! But, it's meaningless to suggest that if he had played in the modern era, his average would have been even higher playing against the likes of BD & Zimbabwe! Well, the Windies, SAs and the Indians of the 30s and 40s are equally bad as any of the current minnows if not worse! So, the only worthy opponents to the Aussies then were the English alone! But, this should not take away anything from Don's achievements or greatness simply because he was head, shoulders & hips above anyone from his era playing in similar conditions! The comparison of the God of lesser mortals with the Don didn't start when Sachin scored 50 centuries or 10K runs but by the Don himself when he had hardly scored a few thousand runs!

  • yaa_right on November 11, 2011, 12:59 GMT

    If don bradman is the greatest test batsman (judging mostly by his avg.) then muttiah muralidaran is the greatest test bowler (judging by no. of wickets per test match and also highest no. of wickets), period.

  • on November 11, 2011, 12:41 GMT

    id like to see bradman playing an in swinging yorker from shoaib akhtar at his peak or malinga now. im pretty sure the fastest bowlers in his time were in todays miduem pacer range. put tendulkar or inzimam or sangakara in those times and i doubt any of the bowlers at that time would be able to get them out. no use comparing people from different generations

  • ZA77 on November 11, 2011, 9:57 GMT

    Don test average of 99.94 and a first class average of 95. Apply bowling average of 10.7 in test and 13.3 of Lohmann to all well known bowlers and then they are half of him all. Brett Lee average near to 31 and him near to single figure suggest what. Where you are seeing these bowlers in the same light. Warne bowling average is near to 26. Are you ready to accept he is only 40% of Lohmann. Exact less than half only. McGrath also exact half of him and Lillee near to 24, only 45% of him. It means two Lillee equal to one Lohmann. Loahmann is statistically the best so we should decide it that he is the best as his average is just near to single figure JUST like Bradman near to triple figure. For me Warne is one of the best test bowler, not because only of average. Can we say Marshall is half of Loahmann becasue his average is almost double of him. What other guys suggest.

  • ZA77 on November 11, 2011, 8:38 GMT

    Don peers not come close to him in average. His almost all peers belongs to Australia and England and they were only playing Ashes series. Australia bowling was one the best in history so in timeless matches almost arranged by Australia, it became impossible to play two greatest leg break bowlers (Miley, Grimmet, O Reilly)at a time if they were bowling more than 200 overs per match. Also in England conditions helped Leg break bowlers. So 150 or more overs were enough to send England back to Pavilion twice. Only Don Bradman team batsman could have same advantage but unable to prove. See Headley maintained batting average of 71.2 against England as compare to Bradman 89.78 but Headley had not have timeless matches on home ground advantage. Also he came from other country to adopt conditions against England. When two or three teams are there, disadvantage goes to whom who came from entire other. Fact was that he was better with elegancy and ability to play on wet wicket.

  • on November 11, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    I personally think Don Bradman was Great Player of his time...Now cricket has changed too much n now its far more complicated than it was before...He mainly scored against one opposition n in similar conditions but still other players of his time also enjoyed these advantages but still he stood high among em...It was classical cricket which is now over...There is no point of comparing Bradman's statistics with modern cricketers who perform in totally differnt environment.

  • ZA77 on November 11, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    Why people compare Bradman with Tendulkar. I am unable to understand and than make their own judgement that Don is the best. Tenduklar played on 57 different grounds with 57 bowlers took 100 or more wickets in test cricket. Bradman only six in which five from same country with ten grounds totally. He played in two countries only it means cricket without globalization. Had he played toe crushers, in swing, out swing, leg cutter, in cutter, zooter of Shane Warne, Doosra of Murli, flipper of Kumble, no no so why he is no. 1. Just of statistic acheivement. For me, Tenduklar is way ahead of him with proving himself against the giants of bowling. Main thing is attack and Tendulkar played best attacks of the world like when he played AUS. Lee, Gillispie, Warne and McGrath was there. One swing, two seam and one wrist spinner. There is no chance of survival if your technique is slightly wrong. That is why his average is 60.6 against AUS with 11 centuries and 13 half centuries runs socred 3151.

  • prashant1 on November 11, 2011, 5:53 GMT

    EIGHT of the 20 batsmen on the list have their streaks with the start date sometime in the 2000s. Easiest batting conditions ever.

  • johnathonjosephs on November 11, 2011, 5:25 GMT

    The most favorite story I have heard of Don was that he grew in some rural place where there was nothing to do. So for fun, when he was a kid, what he would do was to take a golf club and a golf ball and hit the ball against a wall so that when it bounced back, he would hit it again with the club. He would supposedly play this for hours. Who can have that good of a hand eye coordination?

  • johnathonjosephs on November 11, 2011, 4:59 GMT

    too many sachin fans out here. While you can always argue about eras (nobody is really truly right) about who is better Sehwag vs Hutton or Hobbs vs Hayden or Lara vs Richards or Headley vs Tendulkar. But one thing you can not compare is Bradman vs any other batsman. Its just ridiculous to even TRY. His records are DOUBLE of the 2nd best player. People talk about how he only played 50 something matches. What do you expect in an era where World War 2, the most devastating event to mankind, was taking place? Also factor in that there were no planes then, and that it took almost a month by ship to get to England, so how can you play 150 matches? Make Tendulkar fight in a war for 10 years and lets see how his cricket is after Similarly, Murali is incomparable even to Warne. While Murali is on both lists, Warne doesn't even make one. Murali has 30 10 wicket hauls while Warne has the 2nd most with 15. Murali has 60 5 wicket hauls, Warney 30. Just like Don, Murali is double of the second best

  • on November 11, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    Arguably, Don Bradman might be the best cricketer of his time. But, things have changed: rules, pitches, match frequency, formats, bowling styles, number of ICC recognized teams and a lot more. It is inappropriate to compare batsmen/bowlers by neglecting these factors and taking their best form time windows. How can you compare a batsman who scored 99 international hundreds with another who scored 29?

  • SpinMeOut on November 11, 2011, 3:40 GMT

    Tendulkar is one of the greatest, no doubt. But most of your reasons for thinking he is greater than Bradman are very unreasonable; 1. "Bradman played mostly England", so what? … he totally destroyed England on his first tour overseas on foreign land. 2. "Bradman did not face great bowlers", look at the statistics. The great bowlers of Bradman's era had their bowling averages totally destroyed by him. For example, Laker & Bedser listed in the top bowlers in this article in periods AFTER Bradman. 3. "Tendulkar has 99 centuries", correction, Tendulkar has 51 Test centuries in 300 innings (or 78 First Class in 453) & Bradman has 29 Test centuries in 80 innings (117 First Class in 338). Tendulkar has 48 ODI centuries because he opens the batting. In Tendulkar's first 66 ODI innings when he did NOT open, he scored 0 Centuries. Amla (South Africa) has a better ODI century per match ratio than Tendulkar, because he opens the batting. Tendulkar is great, but Bradman was a freak of nature.

  • Meety on November 11, 2011, 3:26 GMT

    @Satya Narain - how many UDRS calls have given SRT out????? The arguement goes both ways. Bradman didn't give many chances - so if he copped some dodgy calls, he could of ended up with an average of 109.94! @Antony Mark - that's the point Sachin does NOT dominate both forms of the game. He is statistically top shelf but not the current best, (as said previously I still think he is the modern best). If SRT averaged 65+ - then you could say is the dominant batsmen. He doesn't! @HumungousFungus - well said. the arguement should be about 2nd best!

  • on November 11, 2011, 3:21 GMT

    Glorifying Bradman ? Forget national pride. Bradman played against lesser and relatively low quality bowling attack. How many of them bowled more than 150 mph.

  • Meety on November 11, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    @Karthi Raja - you have SRT blindness my friend. Look at what I wrote, almost every time I have entered into a debate about SRT, I have labelled him the best test batsmen in my time. I rate SRT down the list a fair way in ODIs, but I have never "... bring down other legends of the game..." PERIOD! There are actual statisticians on this very site that have conclusively proven the The Don is the Greatest. The Don has also been rated as the greatest sportsman of all time by a non anglo-saxon sports journal, (Sports Illustrated?) from the most comprehensive search of all sports from Olympics to Football & all other sports in between. You can use what ever parameters you like about minnows (SRT averages 130 against Bangladesh), the fact is he played MOST of his Tests against the BEST cricket team of his day. Not many players since WWII can say that. The Don is such a statistical outlier that the debate is in the end about who is 2nd best.

  • on November 11, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    Don can never be greatest .... Every Don fan is saying about his average bcz Don dont have much . Alll batting records are made by Sachin ....

    Sachin is best even with newest technologies to find weak points about batsmen.

    Don just scored 1996 runs against other side except england, not even 2000 runs !!! Is he still greatest ? No no and no ....

    Don was great, But Sachin is All Time Greatest ............. People here should accept it ...

    All batting records are going in Sachin's favour too :)

  • on November 11, 2011, 0:03 GMT

    @HumungousFungus: Wow bro your comment about Bradman averaging 75 compared to 99.94 if every catch was caught.. That further causes me to believe that players from the amateur days are not half as good as they're made out to be. Dropping 25% of catches? and that despite the fact that the ball wasn't even coming nearly as fast to the fielders back then, Batsmen didn't even bother to wear any helmets etc.

    But to say that Tendulkar is the greatest as result of the sheer number of tests he has played, allowing him to accumulate so many runs, is also misguided. I will only be convinced that he is the best if his average beats that of all the modern batsmen.

    Average over a controlled number of Tests remains the best indicator; which points to how good Ponting, Sobers and Kallis are (The next 3 best batsmen on the list behind Bradman)

    Don't forget that Sobers and Kallis have both got bowling figures comparable to Zaheer Khan. (Kallis' figures are almost identical to Khan)

  • Shan156 on November 10, 2011, 22:10 GMT

    One could also argue that Bradman frequently had to play the best (or the 2nd best) side in his times and not the minnow teams (India and SA). While modern day cricketers are burdened with lot of cricket and different formats, they have it easy in terms of a comfortable first class plane travel and five star hotels. Things have gotten much easier for batting and protective gear means batsmen doesn't need to worry about getting injured playing a hostile pace attack in a difficult wicket. The question is not whether Sachin would have maintained his average had he played in the Don's time. More pertinent would be whether he would have lived playing without a helmet against Harold Larwood. Anyway, he is not even the best India has produced. That honor got to go to Gavaskar - an under-rated legend, an opener who faced some of the best pace bowlers ever with less protective gear and finished with a 50+ avg. Even Dravid is better than Sachin.

  • Shan156 on November 10, 2011, 22:05 GMT

    I request sane cricket fans like Sankara, Meety, et al to not argue against Sachin fans who claim he is better than Bradman. Please understand that most of these fans were born in the 80s or later and have only been exposed to modern day cricket. They hardly know anything about cricket played even in the 80s leave alone the 30s. Those who claim Sachin is the best ever are those who probably do not know what it is to play on uncovered wickets without any protective gear against a hostile pace attack. Check the batting averages during the Don's time and during Sachin's time - you could clearly see that the advantage has tilted in favor of batsmen in Sachin's time. Consistency-wise, one could argue that Sachin is the best in the current era but based on overall average, Kallis and Sangakka pip him. Also, pray tell me how not playing ODIs is somehow Bradman's fault. ODIs started only in the 70s and it is also not the Don's fault that there were only few good teams in those days.

  • SuNiShal on November 10, 2011, 22:01 GMT

    There is no way, one could compare Sportspeople of different times. Right now, cricket is play almost 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which requires immense physical fitness and not easy to maintain. People like Sachin / Ponting etc are people who play at this time and have done exceedingly well even under these circumstances. Who knows, maybe if they had played during the time of Bradman, they could have done much better. During the time of Bradman, very few matches were played during the year and not much physical fitness was an issue with them. No doubt, Bradman's record will never be beaten and he will always remain the best. But let us all not forget the likes of Sachin / Ponting / Kallis / Lara etc., even they are great if not the greatest.

  • bigdhonifan on November 10, 2011, 20:26 GMT

    @Cyrus68b Sachin have 99 centuries..next best is 69.. So?

  • on November 10, 2011, 20:08 GMT

    Don bradman played in an era where there were no television replays and other technology that we have today that decide run outs or LBW's etc etc .He could have been out on many occasions without the aid of such technologyand so his average cannot be considered as accurate.

  • Cyrus68b on November 10, 2011, 18:26 GMT

    Don is the best. It does not matter if not many matches were played back then.

    Are Tendulkar/Richards/Ponting that ahead in their averages compared to rest?

    Come on! Bradman had average of 99.94 and next best was 60.XX. If bowler's were not good at that time, same applies to other batsmen. Why no one else could come close to him at that time.

    Tendulkar may be great, but Bradman is greatest of all time.

  • on November 10, 2011, 18:12 GMT

    You cannot select now a days players for only golden period of their time. I mean look at overlall avg for these closest players. Ricky Ponting: inngs:263 avg: 53.13

    and I am sure no one can have more than > 50 avg after playing 300 inngs not even ricky ponting who is so close.

    it's Only sachin who maintained that.

    I believe He's the only one who is truely deserve No:2 spot in all time batsmen after Sir Don Bradman.

  • HumungousFungus on November 10, 2011, 17:46 GMT

    As always, an attempt to illustrate an interesting and valid point gets hijacked by the "SACHIN IS DA BEST 4EVA" crowd...

    Can we just put the argument to bed once and for all though please? Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest cricket player who has ever set foot on a cricket pitch

    Nobody else is even close

    You can argue until you are blue in the face over who might be next best, but Bradman is light years ahead of everyone else. Yes, even Sachin.

    If you want one number that might end the arguments? 75

    75 is what Bradman would still have averaged in Test Cricket if EVERY CATCH HE'D EVER OFFERED HAD BEEN CAUGHT. Think about that...if he'd never been dropped in his career, he'd still have averaged 75!

    And this article beautifully illustrates that even when the greatest modern batsmen are in incredible prolonged runs of form, on flat pitches, in an era denuded of great fast bowling, the best of them is not within 25 runs of The Don

    Here endeth the lesson...

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:38 GMT

    People are Fool who says Don was greatest. He scored 5000 runs against one country & knows very well their bowling attack !! So what is Greatest thing about this !!! Even a Third class batsman can score so many runs against a side if he plays so many matches against that team ...

    Sachin is Much Ahead of Don ......

    And Sachin scored 200 Runs in just 3 Hours !!! Can Don scores so fast....Never ..........

    Sachin scored 99 Centuries ....Don just 29 !!! So Sachin is ALl Time Best ......

  • on November 10, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    I wonder what would happen if one took, just the best of 80 innings of a batsman. I'd be very surprised to see anyone comes close to the Don.

  • khurramlone on November 10, 2011, 16:14 GMT

    Tendulkar/Richards/Lara/Ponting are all GREAT players. There is no point in arguing that, but Don Bradman was much more than that. He was the biggest outlier in any sport that I have followed, not just cricket.

  • on November 10, 2011, 16:08 GMT

    @highveldhillbilly - Yet Murali has the best average in that list. So you mean the batsmen were playing him watchfully, but still giving away their wickets cheaply? Your point only makes Murali's achievement even better!

  • YorkshirePudding on November 10, 2011, 16:05 GMT

    I think some should read up on the history of the game, its been 134 years since the introduction of test cricket. Sachin is a modern great, however when you look at the don there is a gulf between him and his contemporaries, the gulf between SRT and the rest of the pack is minor in comparison, when looking at averages, if you extraploate the Don's batting over the same career as SRT and even say he ended up averaging 80, and had played 300 innings Bradman would have scored 24,000 runs. in the same period.

  • on November 10, 2011, 15:34 GMT

    That economy rate of Muralitharan's is insane given the era! In that 98 match period, against no team and in no country, does Murali have an ER > 4. Just another justification for my rating him the greatest ODI bowler of all time (and also in tests)

  • StatisticsRocks on November 10, 2011, 14:29 GMT

    No ne can come close to the DON. Not Sir Viv/Not Sachin/Not Pointing/Not Kallis/Not Lara period. Don is da MAN. Some of these modern gr8s should consider themselves lucky to be even mentioned in the same breath as the DON. Only if I was old enough to watch him play.

  • on November 10, 2011, 14:10 GMT

    some statistics are here like Don is the best only coz he have 99 which no one has...........well well i already posted somany answers. now the surprised thing IS IT HAS BEEN ALMOST 100 YEARS SINCE CRICKET WAS INTRODUCED...........AND NO CRICKETER HAS SCORED 200 IN ONE DAY. THE ONLY AND ONLY CRICKETER(REMEMBER CRICKETER NOT A PLAYER WHO ONLY PLAYED TEST) WHO SCORED IS OUR LITTLE MASTER................THE GREATEST CRICKETER OF ALL TIME..........

  • on November 10, 2011, 13:55 GMT

    ricky ponting is good avarged for the test match he is very good player in crivket history he is the best captian but

  • on November 10, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Tendulkar is better than Don. Tendulkar played around in many different pitches, against a variety of bowlers, Don scored a total of 7000 runs of which 5000 plus were against one country. He played only against 4 countries in an era where not many matches were played in a year. He did not face too many world class bowlers, with the fastest being Larwood who bowled supposedly at 95 mph.When Don played cricket. Don only played Test and that to only in ENG and AUS. This 30,000 runs, 51 Test hundreds, 49 ODI hundreds, 200 runs in ODI stands out for EVER.HE UNDERWENT ATLEAST 6 MAJOR TO MINOR SURGERIES N STILL PERFORMING BEST AND PLAYED IN TOP CLASS FIELDING CONDITIONS WAT'S ABOUT DON. I TALK ABOUT BEST CRICKETER WHO DOMINATES BOTH FORMAT OF A GAME NOT A BEST PLAYER WHO ONLY PLAYED TEST AND PERFORMED ONLY AT HIS HOME.FINALLY, FINALLY SACHIN'S AVE AND CENTURIES R MORE AGAINST AUSTRALIA THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRIES NOT AGAINST MINNOWS.DON IS GREAT BUT SACHIN IS GREATERSET EVER THAN DON.

  • Biophysicist on November 10, 2011, 13:39 GMT

    There are many messages claiming that subcontinental pitches are 'flat tracks'. If so, why didn't Ponting get many runs in India? After all, he has played 14 tests (and 25 innings) in India. I think it is not correct to make such comments. If the Indian pitches are really 'flat tracks' then Ponting should have scored at least a couple of double centuries (not to mention a few other centuries). He has just one in India to speak of. On the other hand Tendulkar scored 6 centuries with a highest score of 241 no and averages 58.53. Why Tendulkar, all the current top Indian batsmen scored several hundreds (Laxman, 4 hundreds in 11 tests, highest score 178, avg. 54.76; Sehwag, 7 tests, highest score 195, avg. 74.04; Dravid 12 tests, highest score of 233, average 48.6). Also Gavaskar has scored 5 centuries in 11 tests, with a highest score of 172 and average of 51.11. Surely, the Australian pitches must much much flatter than the Indian pitches!!!

  • on November 10, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    Why haven't you taken ODI batting into account ?

  • natmastak_so-called on November 10, 2011, 13:13 GMT

    waste of stats even don played his 52 tests in pre and post war years. so why are we desperate to rate someone second to him,,that too by considering their best patches.he was best in his era .and there is someone best in this era. dot.

  • on November 10, 2011, 9:15 GMT

    Amazing stats. Shows all the very best. I can't agree more that Bradman is indeed the best by far. Ponting also deserves to be up there since he has played most of his career where ball and bat have an equal chance unlike sub continentalmpitches where par score is 500.

  • Bollo on November 10, 2011, 8:59 GMT

    Oh dear, first of all we heard that there were no bouncers or bodyline in Bradman`s time. Now we hear that Bradman played on mats over concrete. And some of you people actually believe this???

  • on November 10, 2011, 8:07 GMT

    @lakshanw if subcontinent pitches are so flat why dont visiting batsman score here? are they not good enough? i am pretty sure the don wouldnt have averaged so high against a quality spin attack.

  • boltfromheaven on November 10, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Probably the best 'list' in a long time. I like this list because it is closest to what I believe to be the 'best' over 50 years of watching cricket. Every single cricketer in the list above who has played in the last 50 years deserves to be there. For e.g I have always thought that Underwood was an excellent spin bowler (sticky wicket or not) but he is rarely mentioned these days. My only surprise is how low Lara stands in the list.

  • on November 10, 2011, 7:50 GMT

    some batsmen have much less innings to bat . to be fair statistical comparison should be made on number of innings batted. likewise bowlers be compared on the bases of number of balls used. having said this, your comparison effort is laudable

  • on November 10, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    This is a very interesting anology. The sceptic of Bradmen's incredible carrier and average should accept that he was the greatest ever batsmen. He played without the protective gear available to the batsmen of today against the equally fast and agressive bowlers.

  • RandyOZ on November 10, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    The don never had a helmet, not that he needed one as every second ball cleared the fence.

  • jaytirth on November 10, 2011, 7:27 GMT

    Bradman is the greatest but Sachin is God!

  • on November 10, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    why 52 tests?

    why not 30 tests or 100 tests?

    what kind of non sensical stats are these?

    You do a list for span of 60 tests and you will get a whole different list. yup yup

  • SyedArbabAhmed on November 10, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    Stats some time don't do justice with players, like who is the biggest match winner? like miandad was below than Samraweera

  • Charindra on November 10, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    @highveldhillbilly - If that makes Murali's economy rate less impressive in ODIs, then in the same way it makes his strike rate even more impressive in Test matches, as again the batsmen saw him off and attacked the other bowlers. Less chances of him getting wickets.. That's why he only got 800...

  • Sankara on November 10, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya. I am an Indian and not an Aussie. If you look carefully, Bradman has played around 20 years and the average is across the 20 year period. It is just that he did not play as many tests because of infrequent series as also WW II. If you look at any batsmen including Tendulkar, you would realise that they have come close to Bradman only for very brief periods of time like about 4-6 years. Beyond those prowess peaks, their performance is much lesser. Regarding playing around the world, it is true that he did not play against as many countries. Wonder what his average would have been if he also played against the newer test playing nations. If there are better analysts today he also played in an era when there was no protective gear like today and fast bowlers had a free rein. Most importantly he played on uncovered pitches which today's players dont have to do. Without doubt, he was the greatest bat

  • on November 10, 2011, 6:14 GMT

    There is no doubt that Don Bradman played amatuers of England better than others which were almost his teammates. If you are arguing for flat tracks, please list all tracks which you think are flats and on which Tendulkar played. In India, if all tracks are flat, how Ponting unable to play on these tracks. How became Harbhajan's bunny. If tracks are so flat, how Kumble becomes more successful on these tracks. He took 350 wickets at home with bowling average 24.88. How Murli took 493 wickets in Sri Lanka, if in Asia tracks are so flat. It means you all are doing nothing but misleading the facts. When ask something, you all are unable to tell and then blame for others for the same. How Abdul Qadir took 168 wicket in Pakistan with 40 test matches at home. If in Asia all tracks are flat. You are only putting the statistic but do not want to realize that Bradman played on matt over concrete pitches. Tendulkar mananged runs per inning against England 55.12 and Bradman 79.8 so ratio stands

  • on November 10, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    @Meety. Wow. U got a perfect example for "Keep on playing in same venues". SRT tours Eng once in 4 years.. So, thats how frequently, Don played in the 2 venues he has played altogether.. And to ur other question.. Scoring fast, playing spin, Facing best bowlers in their own backyard, highest runs, More number of centuries, Adaptability to different formats of game and diff conditions of venues, Successful in venues across the world, all round capability and the list goes on.. If u take a list on any of these conditions, Don wont b the first in list.. I am not favoring only Sachin here.. My point is, Don is gr8.. Bt not as gr8 as many of u think.. I do respect his records.. But, that doesn't mean u hv bring down other legends of the game.. For me, Sobers is the best all round cricketer a touch ahead of Don.. I am sure u will accept the fact that except Eng, other opponents he played r minnows by that time.. There is not much fuss in scoring runs against minnows in ur own backyard..

  • cenitin on November 10, 2011, 5:36 GMT

    I am not sure about Bradman but I rate Sachin higher than other contemporary players. Because for me the best batsman is who performed in all conditions, against all kind of attacks, who can play spin and fast bowlers equally well. Sachin avg is more than 40 in all countries (conditions). Whereas Ponting avg is only 21 in IND, Lara avg only 45 outside WI and having avg 33 in IND and 36 in NZ. Rahul Dravid avg is 33 in SA and 33 in SL. Kallis avg is 29 in Eng and 35 in SL. Sangkara avg is 36 in IND, 30 in Eng and 34 in WI. That tells that apart from Sachin all these gr8 batsman struggled in some countries.

  • harshthakor on November 10, 2011, 5:28 GMT

    In the modern era the greatest pace bowlers to me were Lillee,Marshall,Hadlee,Imran and Mcgrath in that order.Lillee and Marshall were the most complete and competitive while Imran and Hadlee bore the brunt of their bowling attacks like few pace bowlers ever did in the history of the game.Mcgrath was the ultimate stats champion.Considering the opposition he bowled to and his impact on results I place Lillee at the top.Marshall and Mcgrath ad the advantage of playing for champion sides.

  • harshthakor on November 10, 2011, 5:23 GMT

    At their best the best test batsman to me after the Don were Jack Hobbs.Viv Richards and Brian Lara.One should analyse their match performance ratings in Ananth Narayan's analysis.Closely behind is Tendulkar and Sobers..However Tendulkar would come second when you consider his level of consistency.No batsmen changed the complexion of a game as much as Viv Richards .Lara at his best overpowered Sachin ,dominating bolwing at abetter strike rtae.while Hobbs mastered the worst tracks ,and scored 12tons against Australia.

  • harshthakor on November 10, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    These stats make Imran Khan a giant in Bowling and Ricky Ponting outstanding in batting.The strength of the Australian team contributed significantly in Ponting's case but in Imran's it was his sheer brilliance.Had Lara not played for such a fragile batting line up he may have been ahead of Ponting.At his best Tendulkar faced much more pressure than Ponting and virtually bore the brunt of the batting team.Gary Sobers,deserves his ranking being arguably the most complete batsman after Bradman,adapting against any bowling ,on any type of surface.

    Viv Richards would have been higher if his Packers stats were added where he averaged 86.2 in the first year.No batsman dominated bowling more than Viv since the Don..Adding Packer and games against Rest of the World Greg Chappell would have figured.

    Stats are unfair to Lillee who had the best wicket strike rate in his time .Jack Hobbs's opening the batting and playing on treacherous tracks resulted in his low ranking.

  • Biophysicist on November 10, 2011, 4:58 GMT

    In order to compare the performance of other batsmen with Bradman in what I considered a more objective way, I got the average of each batsman in the above list for the first 80 (or 81 in cases where inclusion of the last test to reach 80 innings added one more innings). This gave very interesting results. Ponting, Kallis, Yousuf, Sanga who are in the top 10 go down a lot. The new top 10 with averages in parentheses (after Bradman, of course) are: Sutcliff (61.83), Hobbs (60.05), Richards (58.03), Sobers (57.7), Hammond (56.9), Hayden (56.78), Dravid (54.52), Gavaskar (53.38, I checked his figures although his name is not in the list because I am a big fan of his and he did not disappoint me!), Sehwag (52.12), Lara (52.05). The others above an average of 50 are: Barrington (51.5), Tendulkar (50.23), Yousuf (50.06). Ponting's average decreases to 44.5, and Kallis's average goes down to 41.0. While Yousuf's average just about stays above 50, Sangakkara drops to 48.84.

  • johnathonjosephs on November 10, 2011, 4:31 GMT

    Agree with Ben.... Garner's economy rate doesn't mean that much... Before 1996, ODIs were a joke, most people still took it like a Test match..... Scores of 240 in 60 overs were deemed to be very competitive and if a bowler went for 4.5 runs per over or more, they were deemed to be expensive. Nowadays 300 in 50 overs may not be enough and bowlers will gladly accept a economy rate of 4.5 .... I still remember a game when Sunil Gavaskar opened an ODI innings and batted throughout the entire 50 overs not out and had only made 30 runs (his strike rate was like 25 from like 180 balls or something)

  • johnathonjosephs on November 10, 2011, 4:28 GMT

    The real question one must ask is.... Why is everybody bickering about the Don (which is unquestionably the best) when people should be lauding the efforts of Murali and Pollock who bowled in the most batsman friendly eras (from 2000-now), yet still managed to get on this list? Shouldn't people be asking what greats they must have been to be able to take wickets in such hardships?

  • johnathonjosephs on November 10, 2011, 4:10 GMT

    Wow.. many ignorant fans (mostly die hard Indian Sachin fans) are putting the Don on blast.... Yet, there is many factors to put in since they are different eras. For one thing, put in the factor that in Don's time, there were no helmets, so the Number 1 goal when you are batting is to protect yourself.... Also factor in that Don Bradman played only 2 countries and there were not great bowlers as there are in todays time. Also, in today's time, there is a higher standard in batting and more types of balls (doosra, carrom ball, reverse swing, more emphasis on yorkers, etc)..... But all in all, Nobody can touch Don Bradman. Give me one player who, even in 15 Tests against any team (even Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, etc) averaged 100.... People act like making 100 every innings is an easy thing, then you surely have not played cricket and only watch it.... Have not seen any player (except for maybe Dravid, Lara, Sanga, Gavaskar,Boycott) who has that kind of stamina.

  • on November 10, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    I would've loved to see many more fast bowlers from Asia in that list. :(

  • Bollo on November 10, 2011, 3:05 GMT

    @Mrcomparsion. Ananth Narayanan has done extensive research into bowling quality faced by batsmen across the ages. According to his figures (the lower the figure, the better the bowling) Lara faced an average bowling quality of 33.44, tendulkar 35.02, Bradman 36.97. So according to those figures, Lara faced slightly better bowling on average than Tendulkar, Tendulkar slightly better than Bradman. To suggest Bradman was never tested, is of course absurd. Based on a ratio of average/bowling quality Bradman remains lightyears ahead of everyone (2.70), next comes Sobers (1.65) then Tendulkar (1.61) and Kallis (1.60).

  • on November 10, 2011, 3:03 GMT

    To those demanding a comparison between the bowlers Bradman faced and those which Tendulkar has - I won't go through them all, but just give you a couple of the best. Bill Bowes (average 22.33, economy rate 2.49, strike rate 53.7) had pretty similar figures to Glenn McGrath (A 21.64, ER 2.49, SR 51.7). Hedley Verity had a slightly better average (24.37) than Shane Warne (25.41), a better economy rate (1.88 to 2.65) but a worse strike rate (77.5 to 57.4) - both the latter differences being a reflection of the fact that spinners were generally expected to be less attacking in Verity's day, so they conceded fewer runs but also took wickets less frequently. So judging from that, there's not a whole lot of difference between the standard of bowling in the two eras - naturally McGrath and Warne took many more wickets than Bowes and Verity, but that's simply because much more Test cricket is played nowadays.

  • hooks146 on November 10, 2011, 3:00 GMT

    How can anyone in their right mind say any batsman is better than Bradman. As this analysis shows the best of the rest at their absolute peaks averaged around 25 runs and innings less than he did right through his career. A career where he encountered some legendary bowlers including Harold Larwood, Maurice Tate, Hedley Verity, Alec Bedser, Jim Laker, Bill Voce etc. He not only competed with all of these, he smashed them. If the bowling of the era was weak, then other batsman would have averages like Bradman's. But no, he dominated his time, like 99.94 does now and will probably do so for all time. If he had the chance to bat against some of the minnows around now, he might have played innings of 600 or 700 -- several times. It's almost an afterthought to add he was by all reports the most brilliant outfielder of his day and a superb captain. Basically having Bradman in your team was the equivalent of having an extra batsman -- and a bloody good one at that.

  • KelvinLTR on November 10, 2011, 2:39 GMT

    @MrComparison- Don never had a helmet, mate.

  • spud87 on November 10, 2011, 2:32 GMT

    Sir Donald Bradman is "THE GREATEST" there is no question about that. And who cares about Pontings average in India every cricket supporter knows that india have the worst pitches in the world and they are even worse when they play Australia. And players like Ponting and Richards had to face the best bowlers every day in the nets, And one wonders whether Pontings lack of form over the last 4 years is due to the likes of Mcgrath and Warne missing from the training nets. And Sachin Tendulkar is without doubt one of the greats no-one can deny that but to suggest he is better than Bradman is absurd at the very least.

  • Lakshanw on November 10, 2011, 2:31 GMT

    To all the Indian fans trying to say Sachin is equal or better. Re: bowlers, The Don faced a concentration of solid bowlers. (some name by Nutcutlet in his post). He didn't play in India, Pakistan or Sri Lanka, with the flat bed pitches his avg would have even increased further. He didn't play Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. If he played 300 test innings, he would have got 108 centuries - more than twice Sachin has got. He played on uncovered pitches and without the protective gear - as someone mentioned

    Sachin is not ahead of hi peers - Kallis and Sanga have better averages and Sachin wasn't the fastest to score any 1000 run marks up to 12,000. Sachin is certainly a great player, who has had a relatively long career - but doesn't hold a candle to The Don. It is pure idiocrasy to bring arguments to suggest he was greater than the greatest, when he not as great even as his peers.

  • on November 10, 2011, 2:20 GMT

    @ Mr. Comparison. You surely don't have a single clue about cricket and more so about its history. Are you trying to say pitches were better in Bradman-era than they are now? It has to be the most funniest piece I have ever come across on Cricinfo. If not yours, atleast care for the reputation of the World's best Sports website mate. First you compare it yourself, what you are asking Cricinfo to compare. Its not that hard. And after obtaining required facts, analyze them. You will get your facts right I am sure.

  • mathewjohn2176 on November 10, 2011, 1:44 GMT

    @randyoz, how does Ponting couldn't bat on a road if that's your claim? Ignorant comment.

  • smudgeon on November 10, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    The Cult Of Sachin can always be relied on to turn up and howl down anyone who would dare suggest he isn't the be-all and end-all. The exact reason I usually avoid articles such as these. On another note, you could randomly pick any 5 bowlers from the bottom two lists, any 5 batsmen from the top list, shoe-horn in your favourite wicket-keeper and have quite a team on your hands. I like articles like these, because they remind us that there's more greatness in cricket than just the current ICC player rankings.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on November 10, 2011, 1:35 GMT

    I'm reading through the comments and the sad thing is that I KNOW and most poster know too that if Bradman was from the subcontinent we wouldn't be having this much debate. Sachin fans would all have been Bradman fans, Ind would have had more historical wins and Bradman would have shrines al over.

  • on November 10, 2011, 1:32 GMT

    Why Don is Rated No. 1 ???

    He played against only 2 or 3 Teams !!! So he knew about other bowling attack very much. He never faced pressure like The All Time Great "SACHIN TENDULKAR".

    Sachin is much much ahead of Don. He has scored 99 Centuries compared to 29 of DON ! He is 70 centuries ahead Or more than 3 Times of DON. So how can you say Don is greater ? Sachin has approx all batting records...

  • Meety on November 10, 2011, 1:16 GMT

    @Xolile - mate the first part of your comment is not entirely fact but the comparison to SRT & Kallis is okay, but your comments on Bodyline is totally incorrect. Bradman averaged 57 against what is in todays terms ILLEGAL bowling. The WIndies of the 80s were the closest thing to Legal Bodyline since, imagine facing that with a packed on side & no restrictions on bouncers. SRT's average would drop below 50, way below 57. @karthik raja - "...Simple fact.. u keep on playing on same venues(2) and same opposition(mostly 1), definitely u will come good through out..." - sorry mate, that is not true, otherwise explain why SRT didn't score a 100 in his last 2 Test tours of England? @Sameer_Tatake - settle mate @Randy Oz - he is just winding you guys up. Nobody seriously denies that SRT is a great. @Nutcutlet - well said re: bowlers. The fact is, the Ashes was the pinnacle of cricket in the era of The Don. The Best v Best, how often do we see that today, rarely!

  • Mitcher on November 10, 2011, 1:12 GMT

    @MrComparison: Firstly I doubt another Sachin Fanboy like yourself has any understanding of the game pre-1990s but, have you ever heard of uncovered pitches? Learn the history of the game before firing off your uninformed rubbish. That goes for the rest of the Sachin Fanboy Brigade.

  • on November 10, 2011, 1:06 GMT

    Put Sachin and Lara on uncovered pitches and then it will be a fair comparison.

  • Meety on November 10, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    @Pankaj_INDIA - the arguement about "...also weight of expectations that Sachin carries every time is incomparable..." gets used quite often. I except that there is truth in that. I would like to offer some rebuttals. 1) Sachin is a great because when he bats he is inherantly selfish (in a good way). He goes into a zone, that very few can ever hope to achieve. When in form, I doubt whether he would know whether there are 10 people in the crowd or 10 million. 2) Other players have the weight of expectation - it could be argued that Lara had many nations (the composite that is the West Indies), riding his every move, Sobers too. 3) A history lesson. Much of Bradman's career coincided with harsh times for the Western world. The Great Depression was followed by WWII. I can tell you the entire nation & (England as well) followed his every move. Bradman came out of retirement to lead the invincibles to raise the morale of war-torn England. That my friend is expectation!!!!!!!!!

  • Meety on November 10, 2011, 0:54 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya "...What would be interesting is if you do a time series analysis to determine if Bradman would have stayed at 99.94 had he continued for say 100 tests?" - As I know that your arguement is an attempt to justify a certain batsmen of Indian persuassion as the best - the reverse can apply to your ponderings like: 1. No helmets, 2. No arm guards, 3. No chest guards, 4, No Hip pads, 5. Uncovered pitches (look at the recent England series to get a tiny glimpse), 6. Travel by boat to Away fixtures!!!!! @HatsforBats - LOL! @Gupta.Ankur - of course it means more to you - those blinkers ae rather big! @Chinmay Dhopate - SRT is a great for many reasons - nobody is seriously saying he isn't. @Muyeen - here, here. Well said matey! @Karthik Raja - list the many other ways batsmen have done better than Bradman? @Sankara - well said brother!

  • MrComparison on November 10, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    Although Don has an average of 99 he was never truly tested as most would agree. If cricinfo can compare the bowlers Don had to face vs Sachin has faced then we can come to some sort of conclusion. Not Forgetting the Pitch conditions they both dealt with during their times.

  • on November 9, 2011, 23:56 GMT

    "During that time, Ponting scored 5813 runs at an average of 74.52, with 23 hundreds and 29 half-centuries. He averaged more than 50 against every team except Sri Lanka, against whom he made only 487 runs in eight innings at an average of 33" - 8 times 61ish is 487. Am I missing something here? Was it 8 tests or innings?

  • jayray999 on November 9, 2011, 23:29 GMT

    Since all comparisons including this one are inherently arbitrary, can I request for a list of batsmen ranked by batting averages computed for their 80 highest scoring innings since Bradman played that number of innings.

  • teo. on November 9, 2011, 22:56 GMT

    @RahulPatel... fair enough the bowlers in that time do not have the stats that later bowlers have.. BUT.. a more fair comparison would be.. Look at Bradman's average and performances against other batsmen of the same era... NO-ONE COMES CLOSE to his stats, against the same bowlers and pitches the Bradman played. Hence its a clear sign that he was leagues ahead. Remember, he even had to go through a World War!!!! The same can not be said of Tendulkar... he has never really outclassed his contemporaries by a significant amount.. but i do admire the way he has played so consistently for over 20years... and still performs amongst the best. therein lies his greatness. not his stats.

  • Radius86 on November 9, 2011, 22:43 GMT

    @ Rahul Patel

    "Can someone tell me who was the popular bowler at the time of Bradman. At that time there might not be any agressive bowlers."

    I would be glad to. Look up the name Harold Larwood. And if you think he was a dirty bowler that only bowled Bodyline, think again. He was incredibly fast and averaged spectacular. The point you make about how Bradman faced fewer nations than Sachin and didn't face Asian conditions is moot because of two factors. 1) India was not exactly concerned with playing cricket in the mid 1930s and early 1940s. 2) Google WWII.

    Bradman scored his runs without a helmet, on uncovered pitches, with fewer rules that helped batsmen these days. Now I'm Indian, and I love Sachin as a player. But it is criminal to suggest that he is in the same league as the Don. Personally, I think cricket has reached a stage of evolution (or regression, depending on your outlook) where such comparisons are not only meaningless, but they're unhealthy.

  • farazzubair on November 9, 2011, 22:31 GMT

    Also,a closer analysis tells us that out of the 20 batsmen heroics listed,9 achievements have been post 2000's,clearly indicating that we have witnessed an era,where batting and bowling are not equals anymore,bat has clearly dominated ball in an unprecedented manner which raises the question,should batsmen heavily scoring in the 2000's be honestly judged against batsmen from lets say the 70's-80's where in my opinion,each team was playing cricket in the toughest of eras,with scores of brilliant bowlers and all-rounders in each team and some of the very best bowlers of all times.I am clearly of the opinion that batsmen from the 70's-80's should be given an edge and a system be adapted where there achievments are not judged at a standard similar to batsmen from other eras.An average of 50 back then should be equal to an average of 57-58 today or for that matter from any other era.We can introduce probably some sort of an index factor type calculation and compare other eras to them.Anyone

  • RandyOZ on November 9, 2011, 22:20 GMT

    @Nutcutlet, I have seen better club players than Sachin. He only got a cap because of India's complete lack of bench strength. Anyone could bat on a road!

  • Nutcutlet on November 9, 2011, 22:19 GMT

    @Rahul Patel. in answer to your question, amongst the best of those who bowled to Bradman, I would choose: Larwood, Tate, Woolley, Gubby Allen, Leary Constantine, Bill Voce, Headley Verity, Bill Bowes, Ken Farnes, Doug Wright, Alf Gover, Alec Bedser, Lala Amarnath, Jim Laker, Dick Pollard - and, he has to be included, Eric Hollies! Of these, several have firm claims to greatness, which you may care to research for yourself; they were the best of their generation - and many, like Larwood. Voce, Verity, Bedser and Laker, amongst the best that England has produced. Bradman didn't have easy pickings in the vast majority of the test matches in which he played. Moreover, he was, of course, targeted as being a prize scalp which meant that every bowler was trying everything he knew to see the back of the Don! Look, if you will, at the Bodyline series of 32-33 especially, a saga no true cricket-lover can remain in ignorance of. There, for once, he was bested: av.only 56.57! Regards.

  • shazzer on November 9, 2011, 22:00 GMT

    Mr Binoy, Isn't there a possible confounding in your last analysis of best economy rate over 98 ODI's? I would argue that you might need to adjust this analysis by the average run-rate during the period the bowler played those 98 ODI's? Surely, it would be difficult to compare Graeme Swann's economy rate during a period where the average run rate in an innings is 5.5 to Joel Garner's economy rate when average run rates were 3? I wonder what happens when you adjust for average run rate?

    Secondly, does the number of overs bowled make a difference to the economy rate. Considering this is the denominator in your economy rate, as this increases would your economy rate decrease. So, does everyone who played 98 ODI's roughly have the same number of overs?

    It would be interesting to see.

  • bigdhonifan on November 9, 2011, 21:53 GMT

    I rate Sachin and Lara ahead of Bradman anytime! Scoring against mediocre English team and an average of 99.. doesnt make a great batsman!!

  • Shan156 on November 9, 2011, 21:44 GMT

    @Pankaj_INDIA, I agree. Sachin is not only the best batsmen but also the best cricketer. He can bowl leg break, off break and medium pace and he has also captained his country. Kallis can bowl OK but he does not have Sachin's variations and he is not a good captain. Bradman was a good captain but does not bowl. Sobers was an average bowler and a poor captain. Also, no other player was liked by so many people. So, if you take all these factors into account, Sachin is the best ever. Period.

  • Shan156 on November 9, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    @bismoy, so, cricket will die after Sachin retires? oh no, what are we to do when our favorite sport dies? Interestingly, what sport will Indians play if cricket dies?:-)

  • on November 9, 2011, 21:33 GMT

    I think Bradman cannot be compared to Sachin AT ALL. As ppl said here, Sachin played against ALL countries, in ALL conditions. While Bradman played majority of his matches against ONE TEAM and in TWO countries. And the frequency of matches were MUCH MUCH less than what it is TODAY, so consistency to that level is much much more difficult today than those days. May be Sachin is better than the Don, or may be Don is better, we will never know

  • bigdhonifan on November 9, 2011, 21:30 GMT

    @Nutcutlet Bradman Never faced extreme pace!!! That time there was no Body Line or Bouncers!!! So he doesnt need to wear helmet! Bradman is next to Sachin.. Period!

  • pp11 on November 9, 2011, 21:17 GMT

    wow , what a baseless comparison ? why do we have don bradman even as a benchmark. when my great great grandfather started playing cricket , he started and finished with an average of 200 just in the subcontinent , we should include him too . Lets face the facts during bradman era , no impressive bowlers , atheletes at that time performed upto 80-85 percent of their potential , today they are at 99+ percent potentials (i mean physical potentials , quality of players and athletes have improved many folds , so if players like tendulkar are on top o their game for last 20 years , its a shame when he is even compared with bradman) (you can verify these with records being set in Olympics and other games) , so to make it simple playing in bradman era , is not even comparable to today

  • nuru76 on November 9, 2011, 21:14 GMT

    Why to consider averages and numbers in determining who is best or better batsmen ? Why not consider effectiveness of runs scored at crucial times to win or draw matches at those junctures ? or who the bowlers like to bowl the least to ? or headaches for captain setting field to a particular batsman ? Afterall cricket or any sport is all about winning or trying to win right ? !. So who comes here : Sehwag , richards , inzamam , bradman , ponting , lara , sobers ... ?.

  • gandabhai on November 9, 2011, 21:11 GMT

    The Don i love & respect very much as i do so many brilliant cricketers from around our wonderful world . BUT he only played 50 odd tests ,' Only a cameo '. The GREAT Mike Hussey also had a GREAT average at the beggining of his test carear . Look what happened once he played more matches and around the world in different conditions . Sorry but the Don was not truly tested .

  • gandabhai on November 9, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    WRONG TITLE . Shouldve been . Who is the closest to Sachin Tendulkar ?

  • Nutcutlet on November 9, 2011, 20:56 GMT

    The heading of this article, in part, poses the question: Who comes closest to Bradman? Then, what do we get? A lot of Indians, all wearing a patch over one eye, trying to suggest that their Sachin is better than Bradman! How predictable! Bradman's utter and indisputable supremacy as the greatest batsman of all time should be beyond discussion. Let's all recall that Sachin has never, to the best of my knowledge, batted against extreme pace without a helmet. Neither has he ever played on a sticky dog. Neither has he used a bat like Bradman used, etc. Get over it, India! Sachin is a mere mortal, albeit the best bat that India has yet produced! Cricinfo, pls publish!

  • on November 9, 2011, 20:47 GMT

    Can someone tell me who was the popular bowler at the time of Bradman. At that time there might not be any agressive bowlers. I agree Bradman is great whatever he has acheived in his 52 tests but had he scored with such a consistency all around the world including asian conditions where all great palyers like Ponting, Lara didnt had a sucess at all then i would have thought Bradman was greatest. But playing in same conditions again and again and also against same opposition how can you make he is the best.. Sachin is the best of the all..Scored against each and every opponent. Every australian bowlers says him the best.so his #8 rank here doesnt mean everything. One day will come when every topic will make a comparison with Sachin and bradman will be forgotten.. Luv U sachin

  • mrgupta on November 9, 2011, 19:58 GMT

    First of all the criteria is not correct. Why judge only after 52 tests? Why the best bowler after just 18 tests? The longevity and consistency should count for more than anything else. Hussy had a very high batting average after his first few tests, Pieterson started exceptional well, Viv Richards had a batting avg of 60+ after his first 8 years in Tests but slipped to 44 for next 10 years getting final avg to 50 which is lower than Gavaskar and Miandad. Anybody who played for 22 years with batting avg of 56 and that too after 182 tests got to be good. Sachin and Sir Don cannot be compared simply because Sir Don scored his 70% runs against one single team, he hardly ever played outside Aus or Eng, he only played 80 innings compared to 300 by Sachin. If Sir Don managed an immortal 99 tests avg then Sachin has so far scored 99 International tons and 33000 runs. Is a high average the only criteria to judge a batsmen? Why not take the new benchmark of soon to be completed 100 centuries?

  • Asghar_Shahzad on November 9, 2011, 19:42 GMT

    I do not know why cricket fans from India do not accept realities. Mr. Tendulkar is a great batman but not greater than cricket, he can not be at the top of list every where!!! This is as simple as that...........

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 9, 2011, 19:32 GMT

    So at their respective peaks, MoYo is better than Sachin at his peak. Interesting!

  • on November 9, 2011, 19:31 GMT

    "Accidentally", Ponting's 52 match streak started just when Ambrose,Walsh, Akram, Waqar and other great bowlers were either retired or in there last declining days !! And it ended before he played Steyn or Morkel. Only great bowlers during his golden run were in his team. It would be interesting to see the same list for 25 tests and 75 tests. How it changes. Peaking for a certain period when facing weak opposition bowling cannot be the sole criteria for greatness.

  • on November 9, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    @RandyOZ Tell Bradman To Play 100[Not 1000] International Matches,Then Come To Compare With Sachin.Ur Remark Is D Most Unauthentic Of All.On Which Ground U Take Lara B4 Sachin,Is It Avge,100s,Match Winning 100s,4th Inns avge,Winning Avge,In Aus Avge,In Eng Avge,In Away Avge Runs 100s? Ur R Ponting Issue Is Solved By Others.Would U Like Make A Further Comment With Ur Brain Within D Skull.I Really Missing Ur Comment

  • on November 9, 2011, 18:40 GMT

    What kind of people do we have here? I guess this article was written to make Sachin look mortal. No matter how many efforts are put here, Sachin is above the game. HE is the only person whom cricket should thank for reviving it. Bradman is a peevy before Sachin. He has not faced the technology, and most important of all dodgy decisions by umpires all around the world like Sachin.

  • on November 9, 2011, 18:10 GMT

    @hassan13 lol, where does it say ponting is better? check your eyes, it is a 5 year streak .not whole career. PONTING INTERESTINGLY PLAYED 6 TESTS IN ASIA FROM 2002-2008, WHICH WERE HIS WORST AT THAT TIME. ONLY 1 TON VS BAN(A GOOD ONE BTW) THAT IS ALL HE GOT AND COUPLE OF 50s. Tendulkar was the best in 1998, great Lara was miserable against Aus,SA and Pak at the time.Go check yourself.

  • Deuce03 on November 9, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Gopala: You're forgetting about Anderson, aren't you?

  • on November 9, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Great discussion guys, some folks have pointed flaws in my argument with some what-ifs about Don (losing 6yrs to WWII, playing against Zim or B'Desh etc). I can throw in a few more what-ifs (e.g. read a couple of posts here from @Dustin, @pamaran to site a few). But you all are further strengthening my argument that such comparisons are inherently misplaced and are twisting numbers to get to a wrong conclusion. If you look at avg, Don is the best, if you look at centuries or runs scored Sachin is the best, if you look at dominating all types of attacks probably Richards is the best....these are all one dimensional views. And yes I am a Sachin fan and would be infuriated if someone called Don "THE BEST ACROSS Eras". I can live with he is arguably the best of all times - for both Don and Sachin and a few others (Lara, Sir Richards and Kallis)..Peace folks...

  • on November 9, 2011, 17:27 GMT

    52 Test Matches Cant B A Standard Of Evaluating A Batsmans Quality.There R Certain Many Other Criteria Where Sachin Is D Best Batsman.But I'm Not Saying Hes D Best.Hes One Of D Greatest & We Should Say Bradman Sachin Lara Kallis Dravid Ponting All R One Of D Greatest But Bradman Certainly Special One As He Differs 40+ On Avge To Everyone,It Is Out Of any Condition's Argument @manoj sury If Dominance Is Everything,Then S Afridi Is D Best Batsman In All Version [In Tests S/R 86%+] Then Comes V Sehwag A Gilchrist.After That U Can Think Of D Bradman B Lara R Ponting & U Cant Think Of Sachin Dravid Kallis Laxman As A Batsman

  • sony_sr on November 9, 2011, 17:03 GMT

    2 things make bradman beyond comparable. #1 is uncovered pitches. I can't even imagine how these guys managed to bat on uncovered pitches. 99+ average on uncovered pitches with less protective gears and more bowler friendly rules is unbelievable and beyond comparisons. #2 is, Bradmans stats when compared to his contemporaries is much higher (forgetting its much higher when compared to current greats as well :)). No other player in the history of game can claim that. So only question is who is second best. Doing it only for 52 games does not make any sense to me. See the list, ponting comes before sachin. Does that mean ponting is a better batsman than sachin? or ponting was more inconsistent when we consider his overall average is less than sachin? :) Dude give us a comparison of current greats for the second best position (tests only pls)

  • motiur_rahman on November 9, 2011, 16:59 GMT

    Sachin is so low in the list .. must be a shame for Indian fans .. haha .

  • on November 9, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    McGrath ,warne could have made pointing and ambrose and Walsh would make Lara their respective bunny but never had sachin been targeted by a single bowler

  • Technical-1 on November 9, 2011, 16:39 GMT

    When Folks what to lie about things they use stats!..lol

  • Charindra on November 9, 2011, 16:36 GMT

    Wow... Murali is just amazing... What more can I say

  • pitch_curator on November 9, 2011, 16:27 GMT

    Interesting that Pontings best phase coincided with the time when he was using graphite in his bats...hmmm

  • bpnm1970 on November 9, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    LOOK AT SANGAKKARA.HE PLAYED 52 MATCHES UNTIL 01-10-2011.INN 86,NOT OUTS 8,RUNS 5554,AVV 70.94,HUNDREDS 18,FIFTEES 25, NOT AS W-KEEPER BTSMEN.

  • InnocentGuy on November 9, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Don sucks.

  • hassan13 on November 9, 2011, 15:52 GMT

    lol Ponting better than Tendulkar? We all knew it. Fact is sachin was never the best batsmen in any period of the game. In every era he was eclipsed by someone else. At no point in his long career was he the best in the world. But that being said he was always within the top 5 - and for a good 15 year period that is a mammoth effort.

  • hassan13 on November 9, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    lol Ponting better than Tendulkar? We all knew it. Fact is sachin was never the best batsmen in any period of the game. In every era he was eclipsed by someone else. At no point in his long career was he the best in the world. But that being said he was always within the top 5 - and for a good 15 year period that is a mammoth effort.

  • Sudhir29 on November 9, 2011, 15:44 GMT

    @RandyOz , what was Bradman's average in the sub-continent ?

  • Yogesh_D on November 9, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    For 22 years none of the Australian able to find answer to Sachin, so this is the ridiculous attempt to spit on sun.Sorry to say 99.9 is fluke number, If Bradman would have came to INDIA or Srilanka his Avg would drop like punter would have finished with avg of 55 or less.......................................... Sachin is real DON rest just need support from crowd..... Keep applauding OZies

  • Mary_786 on November 9, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    Brian lara was the best batsman after bradman, murali, akram and mcgrath all stated the same.

  • bismoy on November 9, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    The article is about bradman but most comment are for sachin...that shows the greatness..

    There is hardly any player in this planet who has played under tremondous pressure of 1 billion expecting 100 everytime you go to bat...That defines sachin.

    Sorry to dravid,pointing fans not even 10 people expect them to score 100 every match forget 1 billion.

    182 test 15000 runs,,,still humble unlike so called arrogant bradman,,,that shows who is greater than whom...not some meaningless analysis...

    if sachin has not played Cricket , the game would have died long back in 80's ...

    Long live the Legend...many will tarnish you...but sun will shine always.

  • ian_ghose on November 9, 2011, 15:07 GMT

    The steryotype was that Indians are good with numbers. Looking at the comments made by many of them, it looks like they can't even read, let alone understand what those numbers mean. What I don't understand is why they are so adamant on making Tendulkar look good? At the end of the day, he zooms around in a Ferrari (who's tax he didn't pay) while they get grinded on the sub-human indian public transportation. The politicians there must love having such people to rule over! Or maybe its just those people who work for Tendulkar's PR company!

  • bigdhonifan on November 9, 2011, 15:00 GMT

    Bradman scored a total of 10 centuries against India, WI, And SAF... Where these 3 teams at that time considered like Kenya, Holland or Ireland! he scored a total of 1968 runs with an average of 152.58.. From this against India and SAF he had an average of 190.13 from 10 matches (Assume around 20 innings). During Bradmans Era Aussies was a way better side than England (Similarly like a Aussie team of early 2000 Playing to WI team)... So he scored 5028 runs with an average of 89.78.. Here comes Sachin he payed 31 matched and scored 3151 runs with high socre241*at an avg of 60.59 11 centuries (consider this Aussie team was the best ever team in the world during most of this period).. I strongly believe SACHIN IS THE BEST EVER BATSMAN.

  • unregisteredalien on November 9, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    I would bet the farm (if I had one) that every person who's said "you can't compare across eras" in this particular thread is a Tendulkar apologist. Say it ain't so or let it go. You're just embarrassing yourselves now.

  • on November 9, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    Sachin averages in aus 58 eng 55,lowest on seaming tracks 46 in SA, Ponting 26 in India,Lara 33 in India ,so when it comes to adaptability in all conditions and completeness,they are no match to Sachin.Also,the prejudice over flat tracks is just nonsense it takes a lot more patience and grittyness to score on Subcontinental pitches sometimes as early as the 2nd day, whereas a pitch with bounce is more easier to bat on as the ball comes on to the bat.Narcissists such as @ RandyOZ call Sachin a flat track specialist whereas he as done well in all conditions.Sachin is the most complete batsman of our era seconded by legendary bowlers like Curtly Ambrose,Shaun Pollock,Glenn Mcgrath,Shane Warne,Allan Donald and even Sir.Don himself.So,there really isn't a comparison,we see what age has done to ponting reflexes get slower so adapability is the key and Sachin has found ways to score runs through all these obstacles,no one can deny that he is a run machine on any pitch.

  • bigdhonifan on November 9, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    @RandyOZ Punter is a joke in Spinning tracks... Where sachin scored all around the world!!! I will rank Sachin is better than Bradman for longevity... Aussies won matched because they had Warne, Mc Grath, Fleming, Gillespie and Lee.. Not because of their Batsman!! Their Batsman always struggled to score in India!!

  • on November 9, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    Statitstics reveal half truth. Comparing different players from different eras, different playing condition, quality of opposition - bowlers, batmen, fielders etc plays an important role. It is wrong to compare batsmen scoring runs against weak bowling attack, or favourable condtions and bowlers taking wickets on favorable condition against weak bowling attack. Need to factor these. It is fashionable to say Australia, South Africa, English wickets are sporting and India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka wickets are flat or spin friendly. The Australiian, South African & English wickets are prepared for the strength of the native bowlers. Sub continetal wickets are prepared for stregth of native bowlers. Why consider pace, swing bowling is superior to spin bowling. On flat wickets even opposition batmen also should score runs if they are quality. Just another angle : Ricky did not bat against formidable Australian attack. Or Vivian Richards did not play against West Indian pace battery.

  • on November 9, 2011, 14:18 GMT

    @Randy oz Sachin scored hundreds in newlands , centurion , sydney . Are they flat tracks

  • Sameer_Tatake on November 9, 2011, 13:35 GMT

    @RandyOZ How can a Australian like you see SRT's greatness. There can be arguments that is he the greatest, but definitely he is there in top 5. SRT Avg 60.59 with 11 100's against Aus, Avg of 58.53 with 6 100's in Aus, Avg of 55.74 with 29 100's away from home Now comes Ricky. Avg 47.88 with 6 100's against india Avg 26.48 with 1 100 in India :O Avg 47.7 with 16 100's away from home

    Now you know who is a HOME BULLY i rest my case

  • Uglyenglish on November 9, 2011, 13:25 GMT

    @randyoz,I am not an Indian but if you say tendulkar as flat track bully,then you have no idea.How does pointing have low averages in india( flat tracks) compared to tendulkar higher average in Australia?

  • cenitin on November 9, 2011, 13:06 GMT

    @RandyOZ....Do you know what is the avg of your punter in the flat Indian pitches...mere 21...and Sachin avg is 58 in Aus. Sachin avg is not only good in sub continent but outside it too. Its not only about playing so much matches but also to maintain that consistency that Ponting has been lacking in the last 4 years. Before 4 years Ponting was close to Sachin but now its all over for him. He is also gr8 player no doubt abt it but not good as Sachin.

  • uglyhunK on November 9, 2011, 13:05 GMT

    How many of Bradman's fans are aware of the fact that during 1920s, 30s and 40s, the over rate used to 24/hour ?? Now imagine the kind of bowlers used to bowl at Bradman and others. All Bradman's stats show is that he is way above his fellow player of the same era, nothing more.

  • timus6778 on November 9, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    @bharath goyal: actually he did bat in 80 innings,he was not out in 10..do some homework next time,mate.

  • RandyOZ on November 9, 2011, 12:31 GMT

    How sad that Indians are comparing the flat track specialst to the DON. Anyone can hit 15000 runs if you play 1000 matches. Sachin is well behind the likes of Lara, Punter, Hussey, Hobbs, Hammond, etc.

  • Spider1972 on November 9, 2011, 12:12 GMT

    Xolile, you conveniently fail to state that Bradman was ill for much of the 1932/33 season, and in fact missed the first test through illness. You also fail to state that the major issue with Bodyline was not actually just the bowling, but the field positioning that went with it...field positioning that was outlawed after that season and therefore not available to today's bowlers...

  • Slobberdog on November 9, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    On the economy rate table: I wonder how much of an effect no balls and wides would have if they were added to the figures of bowlers playing prior to 1985. I suspect Garner might lose that top spot.

  • aliayesha on November 9, 2011, 12:04 GMT

    In case of Imran Khan, I recall he had a stress fracture during 1983 and played the two test matched (in AUS) as a BATSMAN ONLY. If I recall correctly, his hot streak started from 80-81 (16 wkts vs AUS; 14 in one test vs SL, 21 v ENG and 13 vs AUS)...Re: ODIs average, I think it is inherently unfair to compare R/O of current bowlers vs. those in the 70s/80s. The ODI game has changed completely - especially the fielding restrictions. A score over 4 R/O was considered to be a tough chase !

  • on November 9, 2011, 11:53 GMT

    Bradman batted 70 innings and not 80. I think this needs a correction.

  • on November 9, 2011, 11:36 GMT

    We have to remember that those days there were no helmets etc, and faced the likes of Wes Hall and Charlie Griffith who bowled faster than anyone today and also threw jerks. There were no limit on bouncers and the poorly-paid/not-paid batsmen had no motivation to risk their skulls and bones. Also, the batting average were not inflated on dead pitches of India and Pakistan against team like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Simply put, no body can come close to Bradman. Not even Hanif Mohammed who scored the only triple century ever scored in a third inning, in scorching heat of West Indies, against jerk balls of Griffith. Sorry Sachin, you are no where close to Bradman.

  • on November 9, 2011, 10:58 GMT

    We need an additional dimension to this, like you have done with many other lists, the averages need to be indexed based peer performances in the same period.

  • tjsimonsen on November 9, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    Another way to look at the Don is to compare him to his contemporaries. Even when compared to George Headly, Wally Hammond and Len Hutton (who would be considered all-time greats in ANY area), he stands out head and shoulders above anybody else. Nobody since him has stood out in such a manner over such a period of time, and certainly not for the past 25 years! Yes, he faced some mediocre bowling, but so did his contemporaries - and so have Sanga, Dravid, Sachin, Ponting and Kallis (Lara on the other hand played little against Bangladesh and didn't have to face the declining WI attack - indeed he often had to carry a weak WI batting lineup). The only player who can compete with Bradman is Sobers.

  • Haleos on November 9, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    ANother meaningless statistics comparing legends over different era. Guess it keep the guys at cricinfo busy. We can not compare cricketers over different era whatever basis u use. we can not take into account pitch condition, crowd pressure, opposition quality, own team quality, public expectations, weather etc. What is really a point of this statistics other than satrting a war of words between fans?

  • msagar on November 9, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    Don Bradman's era was 1928-1948. Then have a look at the bowlers list for the same period. Not one bowler in the same era. What does this statistic tell you? Bowling in those times was at best friendly. Guys get over it. Don was the best batsman in his time. Sachin is the best in his time. Richards was great during his era. Comparing batsman across eras is like comparing apples with oranges. Some like apples and some like oranges - but the fact remains that they are both delicious.

  • Pelham_Barton on November 9, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    @PietPompies (08:06 AM): You need to take account of the fact that every time a batsman is left not out, he has been denied the chance to score extra runs in that innings. Your method would penalise a batsman who is sent in to bat with only a small target needed.

  • on November 9, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Xolile I don't know why you've an axe to grind against this icon, but the facts are incomparable. And whilst chipping away at the edges of the legend, you can't avoid the facts that made Bradman so incomparably the best: - no covered wickets during his career (an enormous factor); - no absolute easybeats like Zimbabwe & Bangladesh to boost one's average; - no test matches played for more than 6 years due to WWII, when it is widely agreed he would have been at the peak of his powers. So apart from all the silly counter-factual arguments, we are left with his amazing career. Forgive my long-windedness, but RandyOZ was spot on. No-one. Ever.

  • GravyTrain on November 9, 2011, 10:10 GMT

    Yeah, everyone knows Bradman had his average inflated by feasting on junk teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Oh wait, that's today's batsmen...

  • Yagga175 on November 9, 2011, 10:06 GMT

    A point on the "weight of expectations" line which is always trotted out where SRT is concerned. He is not the only player to have carried the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. I am no admirer of Bradman, although I respect the statistics and his record as captain. However, Australia in the 1930s was terribly afflicted by the Great Depression, constantly being lectured by the "mother country" and had significant political divisions along sectarian lines. Bradman, like him or not, was consistently burdened by popular expectation during this period. He was "Our Don Bradman" - a people's champion. When he succeeded, which he invariably did, against "The Poms" it was a huge fillip for the nation with a significant impact upon national self-esteem. 1m or 1 billion people is not the issue here - it is the effect that the success of the individual has despite the pressure he is under. Lastly I don't think that DGB had a problem with hunger for runs - see his post-WW2 efforts. He was 40+!

  • JAMIAWALA on November 9, 2011, 10:05 GMT

    For me, its Dravid and Lara, who come the closest. I just love watching both of them bat. Tendulkar has an ugly style, which I can't enjoy.

  • dhchdh on November 9, 2011, 9:56 GMT

    Dude ever heard of slow motion replays etc???? The 'great old players' were lucky that opposition teams could only study their technique in real time. These days players have to constantly change & adapt as every bowler goes through the footage umpteen times & the batsmen do the same to the bowlers. So this debate is more or less redundant.

  • rhtdm302 on November 9, 2011, 9:53 GMT

    Cannot be Sachin, He is Indian!

  • on November 9, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    For those who blindly support curent players, one thing they have to keep in mind that the great Don played without helmet and without any gadgets or device also faced fastest of fast bowlers like Larwood during his famous "Bodyline" bowling era, on a bouncy wicket and not in "tailor made slow turners' like we do today. So, nobody, not even the great VIV can compete with the Don for sheer batsmanship qualities and consistency. Had Don used helmets and other gadgets like the current players do, his average and total score would have heen double.

  • bestbuddy on November 9, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    While Bradman failed (relative to the rest of his career) during the bodyline series, as pointed out there was a serious lack of fast bowlers during his career. People are saying that had he played in our age he would not have averaged as much, but the converse is also true; by not facing quick bowlers often enough to get used to them, he had a poor 32/33 series, but he he faced them throughout his career he may have developed as a player and become just as good against quicks as slow and medium paced bowlers. Like wise one could argue that the first pitches uses in test history were probably the worst ever; no groundsmen with any experience means pitches were not maintained the way they are today, hence some bowlers have ridiculously low averages at the beginning of test cricket. And what would be more interesting to see than Garners economy rate of 3.09 would be a ratio of his economy to the average economy during his career. Then we could accurately say whether he was yards ahead

  • unregisteredalien on November 9, 2011, 9:36 GMT

    Tendulkar fanboys: Sorry but it isn't possible to rewrite history via comments on a blog. The Don's record will endure for significantly longer than your mindless assertions. Sachin is a great of the game, but he is one of the pack. The Don stands well above it.

  • on November 9, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    Impressive to see Imran among all qualitative bowling records. I personally think that despite all the acclaim, he is still a very under-rated player of his era. If not for career threatening injury at the peak of his powers, I am sure he would have been the first to reach 500 test wickets.

  • PrashantRawat on November 9, 2011, 9:09 GMT

    Agreed with Krishna that you cannot compare players from different era's @ robelgordo About comparing with comtemporaries why not go with the centuries Sachin has 99 against his closest Ponting 69.

  • on November 9, 2011, 9:08 GMT

    Murali..?? at bottom of table..?? in Tests..?? probably that will say a lot abt this kinda stats.. This is not reflecting true picture.. Well, Don has played only in 2 conutries.. And played only 4 opponents, majority against ENG(37).. @Sankara, Not only Zim and BD, but also he wud hv traveled to WI,SA,NZ,Ind,PAK facing the Teams in their home soil.. Playing good in Eng(19) and Aus(33) alone wont do any good for modern batsman.. Simple fact.. u keep on playing on same venues(2) and same opposition(mostly 1), definitely u will come good through out.. Definitely, Don was a gr8 batsman of his era to make most of that advantage.. Bt, should never b compared across the timeline.. Playing without helmets shudn't be a pblm whn thr was no helmet invented. For ex, there were Police, Fireman, Fisherman who risked their life a lot without safety equipments b4 they were invented.. They never feared abt that.. Unless something is in offer, u will never worry abt it.. Thats human nature..

  • verns_allstars on November 9, 2011, 9:05 GMT

    One little nugget if interest in the figures for the batsmen. If you look at the column for runs scored by a batsman over 52 tests then Brian Lara would stand 3rd on the list (behind Bradman & Ponting). What is more surprising is that the 52 tests in question were his last 52 tests. Suggests that he may have retired a little early.

  • CricIndia208 on November 9, 2011, 8:48 GMT

    All these statistics are meaningless. Sachin is the best!

  • tjsimonsen on November 9, 2011, 8:33 GMT

    It's also very interesting to see the test bowlers' list. The race is so much closer than for batsmen, although it may be easier to hit an 18-match purple patch. Still to maintain a sub-18 average over 3-4 years is bloody impressive. I am a bit surprised that The Gnome or Warne aren't in the list, and also that SF Barnes isn't closer to the top. Imran's third spot is very impressive (especially given his contributions with the bat) as are several other modern bowlers', not least Murali and Hadlee given the relative lack of bowling support they had. As for the batsman's list, I think it is incredible impressive that nos 3 and 4 are alrounders who would be worth a place in the side for their bowling alone, infact Sobers would probably have been woth two places: one as both a seamer and one as a spinner.

  • BellCurve on November 9, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    More than 80% of the deliveries Bradman faced during his Test career were delivered by medium and slow bowlers, including countless deliveries by part-timers such as Hammond, Edrich and Yardley. Lara and Kallis both average around 100 against slow and medium bowling - and that includes many matches played against Warne, Murali and Kumble. When Bradman was truly tested by genuine fast bowling during the summer of 1932/33 his First Class average dropped below 40 (his Test average was slightly better, but that is because Larwood started to lose form towards the end of the series due to his heavy workload). It is fair to say Bradman was found out during that summer. The Australians tried to distract from this fact by making it a political issue. But to cricket connoisseurs the events of 1932/33 will always raise questions about Bradman's ability against the fast, rising ball. Many Australians will choose to ignore these facts. For them it is a matter of faith, not science.

  • chiggers on November 9, 2011, 8:26 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya - Bradman was 9 days shy of his 40th birthday when he finished his last Test match - he wasn't going to go on. The more pertinent question to ask is what would his average have been if he had not been denied 6 years of cricket by World War II when he was probably at the peak of his powers. Fill in those missing years and there would be no argument.

  • on November 9, 2011, 8:21 GMT

    These Stats are useless. the game changed and batsman are not playing test or one day crickets like they used to. The strike rates for batsmen have increased and the time the batters stay at crease is decreased considerably. So the bowlers strike rates and averages are gonna go awry. To the disadvantage of the bowler the technology helps the batsman to read the bowlers spl balls... Now its a more batsman game not bowlers.

    Most of the modern batsman are better as part of their team with great support from bowling unit and decent batters to keep company... Tendulkar doesnt have all those benefits in that period you put up there.... probably with better bowling unit and and decent support he would have achieved more feats... I am not a big fan of Tendulkar :)

  • Dustin on November 9, 2011, 8:10 GMT

    @Krishna - I completely agree with you. @Ben1989 - the Don batted during a period when there was serious dearth of great bowlers. The only time the Don was truly tested was during the 32/33 Ashes (aka the Bodyline Series) and averaged 56, probably a fairer reflection of his batting. Tendulkar has faced Walsh, Ambrose, Akram, Younis, Donald, McGrath, Warne, Muri...just to mention a few greats from the past 2 decades. This is not to take anything away from how great the Don was, but had he been around today we would be comparing him closely with Tendulkar, Kallis and Ponting.

  • PietPompies on November 9, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    I've always questioned the validity of the averages because of the "not out" innings' where the batsmen get the benefit of the runs they've scored without their aggregate score being divided by the "not out" innings. Eg. if AN Other played 52 test matches (let's say 104 innings), scoring 10 runs in every innings and being dismissed only 10 times, his average would be a phenomenal 104. This would place him top of the list, above the Bradmans, etc. as the world's best batsman, which he obviously shouldn't be. If one rather expresses his skills in terms of runs contributed per innings, regardless of "not out" status, it's a fairer reflection of what he actually achieved, viz. an average of 10 runs per innings. If we do this for the table above it doesn't change the order of the first three batsmen, but it would significantly lower the rankings of players like Kallis (who had the benefit of numerous "not outs") and raises the rankings of the Richards, Lara, etc. who have fewer NO's.

  • on November 9, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @ Krishna I hear ya but with a point of contention. The Don was comparatively way better than contemporaries and that margin of difference hasn't been seen since, by that token his lofty status of the greatest across eras would have to hold. yes, playing with the more recent batting greats, against at least 4 more oppositions and diverse worldwide pitches, may have evened the stats, but we'll never know and that's the beauty of it...I for one will stick with the old legend be it for the sake of upholding cricket's historic beliefs that slowly seem to be fading in the blitz of the ipl's...

  • Pankaj_INDIA on November 9, 2011, 8:05 GMT

    @Ben1989: average alone doesnt matter mate.. bradman played 52 tests over the period of 20 years. Sachin has been playin for 22+ years and played 182 tests (not to forget 480+ ODIs). also weight of expectations that Sachin carries every time is incomparable. also so many umpiring howlers Sachin had to face, throughout his entire career. no one can play so consistently for 22+ years, with such consistency and hunger for runs. Sachin is best, whether you agree or not. Period.

  • Eliga on November 9, 2011, 7:59 GMT

    Dravid is 5th and Tendulkar 8th in your analysis! So, unsung hero is Dravid! By virtue of playing so many innings, SRT is able to amass so many runs!

  • pamaran on November 9, 2011, 7:58 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya: Spot on. I have always belived that Bradman's average would have reduced drastically if he had faced the WI pace quartet, pak reverse swingers, indian spinners and the tight schedules and different pitches. He is a great player. But in the same league as other great batsman. Not above them.

  • prashant1 on November 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Out of the 20 batsmen on the 60+ avg. list , a full 8 (EIGHT ) have their start dates in the 2000s !! I would say that the batting conditions were simply much easier as compared to previous periods...

  • GravyTrain on November 9, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Krishna, I can't help but feel you're being deliberately provocative. But I'll bite anyway.

    Firstly, if batting was so easy in Bradman's era, why aren't there dozens of other batsmen from his time with similar averages?

    Secondly, he was 40 when he finished playing Tests, so I don't think we need to imagine how age would've affect his average. He also missed his most productive playing years due to WWII.

    Thirdly, he did travel around the world. Except instead of business class flights, he was spending months at sea - probably not ideal preparation for Tests.

    Your question about analysis cuts both ways - what if he had today's extensive analyses and support staff (and bats)? I personally don't think it would have made much difference either way.

    And of course he was playing on uncovered pitches, as opposed to the subcontinent dust bowls that inflate many a batsman's average today.

    You are right, there are many greats. But it's clear The Don was the greatest of them all.

  • on November 9, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    There will never be another Bradman. No doubt there are factors that would have reduced his avg. But he was so clearly better then every other batsman of his day. Are you prepared to accept that all the other cricketers of the 20s 30s and 40s were complete mugs compared to today's players. If not then you must accept that Bradman was better than all today's batsmen. And therefor the best ever. Logical.

  • Sudhakar86 on November 9, 2011, 7:53 GMT

    Q: Who is closest to Bradman, Lohmann and Garner? A: Not even one of them is closer to any of Sachin,Lara,Ponting,Dravid,Inzi,Sangakara,Kallis,laxman,Jayawardene,Yousuf, Andy flower, Strauss,Smith etc.

  • Sankara on November 9, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya: Sorry, I am not an Aussie, but true blue Indian in defence of Sir Don Bradman. Look at each of the players and you will see that virtually all of them have their purplest patch on less than 6 years when their prowess was at their Supreme. This includes the God of Lesser Fans.. Sir Don's figures have been compiled over a 20 year stretch from1928 to 1948, not substantially less than Mr Tendulkar. So that answes yr qn abt how Don would have aged. Very well is the answer :-) Also, remember son, he was robbed off many years of test cricket in his prime due to second world war. What if he would have travelled around the world? I would say he would have got to play against BanglasDesh, Zimbabwe and others instead of mostly England and SA. But the greatest difference would have been playing on uncovered surfaces. You seem young enough.Try it sometime-play on a drying pitch after rain:-) . You will learn to respect only where due. Enjoy !

  • Nuxxy on November 9, 2011, 7:44 GMT

    And to all those Sachin fans who argue that time would have diminished Bradman's effectiveness, then the same should have applied to Sachin, Kallis and Dravid - over the last few years they should have only been averaging 40 or less. But they all prove that real greats, real champions can perform even when age catches up. The same would have applied to Bradman.

  • Nuxxy on November 9, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    The only way to compare players is to their contemporaries. Bradman stood head and shoulders above any other batsmen of his time, who were faced with the same conditions. None of the other greats have surpassed their generation by such a wide margin...that's why Bradman's average is acknowledged as probably the greatest sporting feat ever.

  • on November 9, 2011, 7:41 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya. U hit the right spot mate.. There is no comparison across eras.. Compare players of same era and come to an conclusion.. To add to ur point, None has been a one man army like Sachin and Lara for most part of their carriers.. @RandyOZ. Yes, None can come close to Don. Bt, only in terms of average and that too only in test cricket. There r other forms of cricket and other stats where there r many others ahead of him.. Every one is great in their own terms..

  • tjsimonsen on November 9, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    @ Krishna Chovishya: the Don was close to 40 when he retired. That kinda shows how age would have effected him. @ Ben1989: agree 100%

  • on November 9, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    Such studies have a major flaw. They do not factor in many of the changes that cricket has seen during the period in question- quite like the value of currency today. Factor in: Arrival of protection gear; change in fielding standards; Change in quality of teams (read opposition) and many others and you will see that the yardsticks dont match up.

  • Muyeen on November 9, 2011, 7:16 GMT

    Very interesting statistical read this... but inevitably and unfortunately Sachin V/s Bradman comparison has started...leave it guys...just see some great names in batting and bowling and cherish the history and be proud we love cricket..

  • on November 9, 2011, 7:15 GMT

    @Ben1989: Re: Sachin,

    OTOH, it is arguable that Sachin is considered great precisely because he has been performing almost exactly the same over period of 22 years. At the age of 38, he is performing exactly like he did at the age of 16... about which other player can you say this?

    He hasn't had a tremendous high like Ponting has had -- 22 hundreds at 76 in 4-5 years is absolutely awesome, but his career average then should have been much higher than Tendulkar's, than it is now due to that -- but this also means he hasn't had a low either. People make a lot of the period he was injured with Tennis elbow, but it hasn't affected his average too much because being injured he didn't play a lot of cricket during that time.

  • imran1970 on November 9, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    My friend if any one is trying to find out what Don would have achived over 100 tests, then it's about time to actually start palying without no bouncer restriction, back foot rule for No ball, No helmats and most of all Uncovered pitches. Don would have avg 250 per innings.

  • george204 on November 9, 2011, 7:02 GMT

    What a surprise: 6 of the top 10 batting streaks happened in the 2000s (or at least partly), yet just one of the bowling streaks was post-1990 & only 3 happened post-1970. Just goes to show how far the balance of the game has tilted in favour of the bat...

  • Gupta.Ankur on November 9, 2011, 7:00 GMT

    Frankly such skewed comparisons mean nothing in today era........Ponting was great in those 52 tests, but he was pretty average otherwise....

    Also,as Krishna Chovishya says..........its lot harder and more demanding to play nowadays.........also taking into account how much you can analyze opposition nowadays....

    In my opinion maintaining same high standards over 635 games and making 33k runs with 99 100's and 156 50's over 22 years mean a lot more to me....

  • johnathonjosephs on November 9, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Funny, there seems to be a lot of bowlers who are in both categories.... Garner, Hadlee, Murali, Malcolm Marshall, Ambrose, McGrath, Pollock, and Imran Khan are the only bowlers who are on both lists. They are also the best bowlers the world has ever seen. Out of test bowlers, only Briggs, Laker, Locke, Wardle, Underwood, Peel, and Murali are spin bowlers. Interestingly enough, they are all slow left arm orthodox.... EXCEPT for Murali and Laker (two of the best test spin bowlers the world will ever know).... Surprised Warney isn't on this list.... but then again, he is a really overrated player... For the batting list, there is a fine selection of some of the best batsman the game has ever produced. These are good statistics to compare with the player's overall record to find differences between when they were their best compared to how they do on average

  • Sudarshanj on November 9, 2011, 6:49 GMT

    Bradman made those runs during his entire career of 20 yrs almost. So why not consider averages over career span of 20 yr or at least 15 yrs. 52 tests is much shorter duration nowdays..

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    @Krishna Chovishya , you are forgetting that Bradman had his career cut drastically due to World War 1 and World War 2.

  • ultimatewarrior on November 9, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    very interesting! but wish more...now i want list for most runs and wickets in test & one day both.....

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:38 GMT

    Wooow, This is the best article ever, once and for all it is decided that Sachin even at his best is still not a match to Don, Ricky and Jake, also it is good to see Dravid's name popping up before Sachin, best comparison ever...

  • sachinlegend on November 9, 2011, 6:37 GMT

    Sir Don Bradman the greatest till world war 2....SRT greatest since world war 2..end of the debate..no one is greater than other...why to compare?

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on November 9, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    @Krishna. Bradman isn't just great because of his avg...let's include the fact that out of the list, he and Viv Richards SCORED FASTER than any1 else at those high averages. Let's include that he has more 200+ totals than any1 else in 52 matches and let's keep in mind his peers never came close.

  • on November 9, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    I dont think Cricketers should be compared on the basis of how many runs they have scored..They should be compared on the basis of how dominating they have been over the years n gave bowlers n their opposition teams sleepless nights..There is a nice article Ian Chappel wrote few years ago where when u pick a world 11, you need to pick all dominating n match winning players who have played in the same way throughout their life..

    Bradman,Sobers, Viv Richards,Sehwag,Lara have all been dominating n never changed their game irrespective of the circumstances which is the reason y bowlers fear them the most as they score runs quickly..And all these players have better strike rate than Tendulkar..Tendulkar too had his moments of dominance in the early part of his career but went through a phase where he played within his limitations which is a sign of a good batsman rather than a gr8 batsman.His record really suggests that he is gr8 batsman but as far as dominanace is concerned he is not as g

  • Biophysicist on November 9, 2011, 6:29 GMT

    I think for a true comparison with Bradman, you should see the averages of the other players after their first 52 tests (or 80 innings). That would be the correct comparison.

  • DAHSUT on November 9, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    sachin way better than all the others

  • robelgordo on November 9, 2011, 6:27 GMT

    @Krishna - you're talking rubbish. What if Tendulkar had played only 52 tests over 20 years, with a 6 year World War in between. What if he played 6 days of FC per week on long English tours after enduring a month long boat ride? What if he didn't have the extensive analysis and support staff to analyze the bowlers and attack accordingly? Covered wickets and full-time professionalism go in his favour, but everything else indicates Tendulkars average declines drastically!

    I agree stats in different eras are difficult to compare, but within eras they are illuminating. Bradman scored at least 40 more runs per innings than anyone in his time. Tendulkar scores roughly the same amount of runs per innings as comtemporaries Ponting, Kallis, Lara, Dravid etc. That's why Bradman is the greatest batsmen. Because nobody else has dominated his contemptaries the same way, with bat or ball. And it's not even close. Every time this non-debate comes up it is absurd.

  • natasrik on November 9, 2011, 6:22 GMT

    Awesome analysis. The argument can go that bradman did not play for that long and no ODI'S etc etc. But just compare the rest of them with Sachin, they have played all sorts of cricket, conditions etc and still they have done better than Sachin. Sachin no doubt great cricketer but definitely cannot be the greatest.

  • rustin on November 9, 2011, 6:02 GMT

    Why do people still keep obsessing over this? Why not do some present statistical analysis. Comparison over eras just doesn't work! I see this article being bashed in some time by sachin fans. And to be honest, the heading of the article will infuriate them. Purpose solved i guess!

  • highveldhillbilly on November 9, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    Most impressive odi rankings are Pollock and McGrath (and on a lesser note Murali). For Pollock and McGrath to have those economy rates during that time period is unbelievable! Murali's are a bit less impressive for 2 reasons, 1) They came before 250 became a very par score in an odi, 2) He had a weaker bowling attack so often batsmen would target him as the danger man, see him off and attack the rest of the bowlers. No doubt the same happened to Pollock and McGrath but to a much lesser extent I think.

  • Ben1989 on November 9, 2011, 5:58 GMT

    secondly, give Sachin or the other great batters of our time, a golf ball, stick & rainwater tank & see how well they can do in hitting it constantly back to yourself, this is not an easy feat & if you can do this consistently than your hand eye is going to be better than anyone else in the world...

  • Ben1989 on November 9, 2011, 5:56 GMT

    @facebooker comment in relation to Bradman, no one understands Bradsman commitment to being the best of the best, I was told a story that he once was challenged by one of the worlds best billards playeys & was demolished without having a shot, Bradman trained & trained over the next year & challenged the guy 12 months later & turned the tables completely around. This prove's that anything Bradman put his mind to & he wanted to succeed in even if it was a different sport, he would, whether it be ODI cricket etc. firstly they did travel all over the world back then, just on ships! albeit not as much, I'm sure you would rather be flying first class in a plane rather than being on a ship for months on end.... & batters were still analyzed back then, you don't need computers for that....

  • on November 9, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    I totally agreed Krishna Chovishya

  • HatsforBats on November 9, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    Uh oh, the cricinfo servers might crash with the comments on this article. Unfortunately with every passing year the greats of the past will fade in the eyes of the T20 generation. Modern protective gear, flat covered pitches, minimum bouncers, fat bats, shortened boundaries, posh hotels; even with these luxuries not even the greatest batsmen of the last decade (Ponting) can come within 1000 runs of Bradman. People will declare that just 52 test matches isn't enough to be the best; how about 234 1st class matches and an average of 95 and 117 centuries? Probably not.

  • Alam17 on November 9, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    there is no doubt that Sir Don was great and no one can match him at all! there are many others in the world who made bundles of runs but always there efforts are ending up on losing side means their centuries cannot wins matches for them so what is the point of playing for individul benefits????????????? May be all of you will laugh at me but FOR ME the best ever always was Inzimam as his 50s always helped Pak win matches:)

  • unregisteredalien on November 9, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    @Krishna, this is simply another attempt to rate Sachin #1. You conveniently forget that the Don played much of his career at a relatively advanced age, after a huge gap imposed by the war, and that his abilities had not noticeably declined. You might just as well ask how much more he might have achieved had the war not intervened. (PS. the Don's deflated average in the infamous Bodyline series was comparable to Sachin's career average: enough said.)

  • unregisteredalien on November 9, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    @Ben1989, agreed, and Dravid beats Tendulkar! Also great to see Steev Wor in the list. Always highly rated as a tough-as-nails cricketer and a top captain, but sometimes I feel he is slightly underrated as a batsman.

  • on November 9, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    The Don was on another level - period, no debate. Ponting, Tendulkar, Viv/Barry Richards, Chappell, Gavaskar, Sobers et al were all great, but mere mortals.

    Mind you, as an Australian, I wish our best batsman had had a more attractive persona. He may be unquestionably the best ever batman, but I would say Gilchrist, Keith Miller, Doug Walters and the like are the Aussie cricketers I would be most proud to have had representing our country. Even Warney and Lillee, the likeable rogues.

  • on November 9, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    What would be interesting is if you do a time series analysis to determine if Bradman would have stayed at 99.94 had he continued for say 100 tests? How would age have affected his average? What if he had played ODIs? What if he had traveled all around the world as today's cricketers? What if the bowlers had today's extensive analyses and support staff to analyze his batting and attack accordingly? More bowler friendly rules, lack of protective gears go in his favor but other than that, everything else suggests his average would have declined, probably drastically! Useless stats and I pity all those who rate him the greatest batsman just because of high average! greatest across eras is a useless comparison in my mind. There are greats in given eras, given conditions. Sachin, Richards, Sobers, the Don, Gavaskar, Ponting, Lara & Kallis are all greats. Period. No one better than the other! (This will annoy a lot of Aussie friends of mine, but hope they acknowledge another opinion!)

  • Ben1989 on November 9, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    well one main thing about this article is that it supports Sachin is no comparison to bradman, no matter what people say, just because of the amount of runs he scored, this means nothing, he has played a lot more cricket considering the age he started at so of course he's going to have more runs, he's only 8 in the top 10 on the above chart... by no means am I saying Sachin isn't one of the best batters in the world at the moment, as he certainly is, but I really don't think he's as great as people make him out to be...

  • on November 9, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    Interesting. The Garner comparison is hardly a fair one though. I'm sure pre and post World Cup 96 the economy rates of bowlers would be significantly different.

  • RandyOZ on November 9, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    No one will ever get close to Sir Don. NO-ONE.

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  • RandyOZ on November 9, 2011, 3:07 GMT

    No one will ever get close to Sir Don. NO-ONE.

  • on November 9, 2011, 3:11 GMT

    Interesting. The Garner comparison is hardly a fair one though. I'm sure pre and post World Cup 96 the economy rates of bowlers would be significantly different.

  • Ben1989 on November 9, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    well one main thing about this article is that it supports Sachin is no comparison to bradman, no matter what people say, just because of the amount of runs he scored, this means nothing, he has played a lot more cricket considering the age he started at so of course he's going to have more runs, he's only 8 in the top 10 on the above chart... by no means am I saying Sachin isn't one of the best batters in the world at the moment, as he certainly is, but I really don't think he's as great as people make him out to be...

  • on November 9, 2011, 4:25 GMT

    What would be interesting is if you do a time series analysis to determine if Bradman would have stayed at 99.94 had he continued for say 100 tests? How would age have affected his average? What if he had played ODIs? What if he had traveled all around the world as today's cricketers? What if the bowlers had today's extensive analyses and support staff to analyze his batting and attack accordingly? More bowler friendly rules, lack of protective gears go in his favor but other than that, everything else suggests his average would have declined, probably drastically! Useless stats and I pity all those who rate him the greatest batsman just because of high average! greatest across eras is a useless comparison in my mind. There are greats in given eras, given conditions. Sachin, Richards, Sobers, the Don, Gavaskar, Ponting, Lara & Kallis are all greats. Period. No one better than the other! (This will annoy a lot of Aussie friends of mine, but hope they acknowledge another opinion!)

  • on November 9, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    The Don was on another level - period, no debate. Ponting, Tendulkar, Viv/Barry Richards, Chappell, Gavaskar, Sobers et al were all great, but mere mortals.

    Mind you, as an Australian, I wish our best batsman had had a more attractive persona. He may be unquestionably the best ever batman, but I would say Gilchrist, Keith Miller, Doug Walters and the like are the Aussie cricketers I would be most proud to have had representing our country. Even Warney and Lillee, the likeable rogues.

  • unregisteredalien on November 9, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    @Ben1989, agreed, and Dravid beats Tendulkar! Also great to see Steev Wor in the list. Always highly rated as a tough-as-nails cricketer and a top captain, but sometimes I feel he is slightly underrated as a batsman.

  • unregisteredalien on November 9, 2011, 5:18 GMT

    @Krishna, this is simply another attempt to rate Sachin #1. You conveniently forget that the Don played much of his career at a relatively advanced age, after a huge gap imposed by the war, and that his abilities had not noticeably declined. You might just as well ask how much more he might have achieved had the war not intervened. (PS. the Don's deflated average in the infamous Bodyline series was comparable to Sachin's career average: enough said.)

  • Alam17 on November 9, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    there is no doubt that Sir Don was great and no one can match him at all! there are many others in the world who made bundles of runs but always there efforts are ending up on losing side means their centuries cannot wins matches for them so what is the point of playing for individul benefits????????????? May be all of you will laugh at me but FOR ME the best ever always was Inzimam as his 50s always helped Pak win matches:)

  • HatsforBats on November 9, 2011, 5:49 GMT

    Uh oh, the cricinfo servers might crash with the comments on this article. Unfortunately with every passing year the greats of the past will fade in the eyes of the T20 generation. Modern protective gear, flat covered pitches, minimum bouncers, fat bats, shortened boundaries, posh hotels; even with these luxuries not even the greatest batsmen of the last decade (Ponting) can come within 1000 runs of Bradman. People will declare that just 52 test matches isn't enough to be the best; how about 234 1st class matches and an average of 95 and 117 centuries? Probably not.

  • on November 9, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    I totally agreed Krishna Chovishya