November 18, 2011

Run-drought for Gambhir and Ponting, and Lara v Bravo

Both Ponting and Gambhir average less than 30 in their last 25 Test innings. Plus: the uncanny similarities between two West Indies two left-handers
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The career stats of Ricky Ponting and Gautam Gambhir can't be compared at the moment - one is a legend, having scored more than 12,000 Test runs at nearly 53, while the other is still climbing the rungs of batsmanship and hasn't yet reached 3500 Test runs. Yet, over the last 22 months, they've both gone through a poor run, posting numbers that look very similar: both have played exactly 25 innings, haven't scored a century, and averaged less than 30.

Obviously the spotlight has been much more on Ponting than on Gambhir, who has escaped almost any attention during this period. Ponting has had a far more successful career so far, with runs in almost all sorts of conditions against different types of bowling attacks over an extended period of time. Moreover, the highs he had were quite spectacular: during the eight-year period between 1999 and 2006, Ponting scored 8114 runs at 65.43, easily the best among all batsmen during that period, which also mean his lows will come under greater scrutiny too.

A couple of other factors come in too: Ponting's slump has been much longer. Since the beginning of 2007, no batsman with 3000 runs has a lower average, which indicates just how low his stocks have fallen. Also, Gambhir has managed to deflect attention also because of his fabulous ODI record during this period: in 23 matches, he has scored two centuries and eight fifties, and averages 56.90 at a strike rate of 91.77. Ponting's is pretty good too, but nowhere near Gambhir's - average of 40, and strike rate of 84 in 34 innings. Moreover, in the previous two years below this recent slump, Gambhir had scored eight hundreds in 29 innings, and averaged 76.59.

The last 22 months, though, have been forgettable for both in Tests. Gambhir was a touch unlucky in England with injuries, and India's plight on that tour meant he was forced to bat despite not being in a condition to do so. However, that's only one out of the seven series he has played during this period. Ponting has played six series (including the ongoing one in South Africa), and apart from the tour to India in 2010-11, has averaged less than 32 in each.

Ponting and Gambhir, since Feb 2010
Batsman Tests Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Ricky Ponting 13 25 636 26.50 0/ 5
Gautam Gambhir 14 25 704 29.33 0/ 6

At their respective positions, both Gambhir and Ponting have been among the poorest performers. Gambhir's average as an opener during this period has been 31.85 - among openers who've batted at least 15 innings during this period, only Bangladesh's Imrul Kayes and Phil Hughes of Australia have poorer averages. Despite Gambhir's lean patch, though, he's still managed to put together reasonable partnerships with Virender Sehwag: in 21 innings they average 49.50, with ten partnerships of 50 or more. The reasonable partnerships that they've put together is another reason why Gambhir's relative failures during this period have largely gone unnoticed. (Click here for the full list of openers during this period.)

Poorest averages among openers since Feb 1, 2010 (Qual: 15 innings)
Batsman Tests Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Imrul Kayes 8 16 359 22.43 0/ 1
Phil Hughes 8 15 423 30.21 1/ 1
Gautam Gambhir 13 22 669 31.85 0/ 6
Alviro Petersen 9 17 572 33.64 1/ 3
Mohammad Hafeez 10 20 573 33.70 1/ 3
Andrew Strauss 18 27 904 34.76 1/ 7

Ponting's numbers look even worse, compared to the other No.3s during this period. His average of 26.28 compares very poorly with the rest in the table below: the next-lowest average is a highly respectable 42.66, by Pakistan's Azhar Ali.

No.3 batsmen in Tests since Feb 2010 (Qual: 15 innings)
Batsman Tests Innings Runs Average 100s/ 50s
Ricky Ponting 12 22 552 26.28 0/ 5
Azhar Ali 14 27 1024 42.66 1/ 10
Rahul Dravid 18 30 1245 44.46 5/ 3
Jonathan Trott 16 24 1291 64.55 4/ 5
Kumar Sangakkara 14 25 1606 69.82 6/ 6
Hashim Amla 11 18 1177 78.46 6/ 2

Bravo v Lara

The similarities in batting style had been written about long before Darren Bravo made his international debut - the batting stance of both Lara and Bravo, their trigger movements, their flourish with they drive the ball, are all uncannily similar. Now, after 12 Test matches, it turns out that the number of runs they've scored, and their averages, are also exactly the same - 941 runs at 47.05. Bravo has played two more innings, but has also been unbeaten twice, to Lara's none. Both also have eight fifty-plus scores, though the split of hundreds to fifties is slightly different.

The one major difference in the numbers is the balls faced, and hence their strike rates. Lara's is 62; Bravo's is 47.14. In terms of balls faced, Bravo has played 479 more deliveries to score the same number of runs as Lara had after 12 Tests. Both have almost the same number of boundary runs too - Lara has the edge by four runs - though their boundary methods are quite different: Lara had struck only three sixes at that stage of his career, while Bravo already has 17. Another difference is the kind of opposition, and the kind of conditions, that they have encountered in their first 12 Tests: Bravo has played at home and in the subcontinent, while Lara had a full five-Test series in Australia, where he flourished, scoring his first hundred - a glorious 277, no less - and three fifties.

Lara and Bravo after 12 Tests
  Innings Runs Average Balls faced Strike rate 100s/ 50s 4s/ 6s Boundary runs
Brian Lara 20 941 47.05 1517 62.03 1/ 7 119/ 3 494
Darren Bravo 22 941 47.05 1996 47.14 2/ 6 97/ 17 490

Their ODI numbers aren't that dissimilar either. Bravo's played 31 so far, and averages 31.54 at a strike rate of almost 73; Lara's average after 31 was slightly higher, but his strike rate was only 67.18. By the time his career ended, Lara had pushed it up to 79.51, at an average of 40.48. More importantly, Lara maintained these numbers over 299 ODIs, and an international career that straddled more than 16 years. If Bravo's career stretches as long, West Indies cricket, and indeed world cricket, will be well served.

Lara and Bravo after 31 ODIs
  Innings Runs Average Strike rate 100s/ 50s
Brian Lara 31 991 34.17 67.18 0/ 9
Darren Bravo 28 757 31.54 72.71 0/ 5

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on November 21, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    One of the reasons why people are so happy to see Bravo.. He not only reminds of Lara, rather he is so much Lara while batting that most fans have started calling him Junior Lara.. We are so thankful for him having come and show his Lara-esque play.. Each cricket fan in the world wishes to see Bravo play long and long.. The longer he plays, the more Lara we see.. Sorry Bravo for the pressure!! But thanks so much for being here!!!

  • cool2cool on November 20, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    @RandyOZ: You said that the state of Indian cricket is terrible at the moment. What stats are you referring to? India was never 21/9 and dismissed for 47. Isn't it embarrassing?

  • cool2cool on November 20, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    @RandyOZ: If Ponting is the best batsman since Bradman, why he has only one hundred in last 45 test innings? And why he has not performed consistently in sub-continent especially in India in tests. Isn't that embarrassing?

  • on November 20, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    @RandyOZ. Don't mix apples with oranges. Yes, comparing Gambhir with Ponting is totally out of place. But comparing Tendulkar with Ponting is not. I can't believe that you have not watched Sachin play -- so, it has to be some kind of allergy you seem to have developed. 'Sachinitis'? See a specialist. Get well soon. We need your occasional inputs to brighten up dull matches. I also want you back, because both of us also suffer from a delightful "Pom-bashinitis", as some of our earlier posts indicate!

  • Vinodha19 on November 20, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Youngest Indian to play all 3 formats comfortablly.He is a match winner in 2007 T-20 final scoring 75, 2010 WC final scoring 97 and also had many vital patnerships with shewag in the test which helped india to be at the top for 2years.

  • on November 20, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    yop,,,it hs been rather unfruitful walking in classical form for Gmbhir,,,and equally agree tht he has been able to deflect the attention to his splendid run in limited version success...bt i wouldn't been worried abt this purple patch,,,since he often has been able to get a partnership with the other partner at the start and that is what much needed...in recent two test series he played a good hand in giving india a solid start...the problem with him is tht he gets out when it looks like he is set to score it big,,,and often gives opposition his wicket from nowhere....

  • RandyOZ on November 20, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    It's embarassing when Indians compare Gambhir and Sachin with Ponting. He has been the best batsman since Bradman. The state of Indian and English cricket is terrible at the moment. Soon it will be like the tri nations were i only the Southern Hemisphere competes.

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Wonderful guy, reminds me of my all time favorite maestro. Bravo!!!

  • kentjones on November 19, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Indded for young Bravo to have generated such comparison with the great BCLara is paying Bravo the greatest of compliments. Lara certainly will always stand out as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Whilst his records are written in histroy for all to peruse, it will be quite difficult to describe the thrill and excitement his batting generated to anyone who has not physically seen the master at work. Lara had the the ability to create sheer magic as a batsman, with him at the crease one knew that the impossible was indeed possible . He could turn proceeedings from dull to exciting with a nonchlant flick of the wrist, or a ballet like dance down the pitch or an exquisite forward drive or cut that despatched the ball hurriedly to its inevitable destination and moved the onlookers into literal states of frenzy. The most remarkable thing about him was at the wicket, evry batting record was at threat and even more remakable he could continue such onslaugt for a very long time.

  • Vnott on November 19, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Gambhir is an aggressive opener and a terrific foil to Sehwag. Though he had a bad patch combined with injuries in the last 18 months and remember after a terrific 70+ average period in 2009... but signs are he is fit and getting back into his old consistent runs. If he keeps himself fit,he could clearly be among the best in world cricket. Look at the stats below. They talk for themselves.

    Type No Inn NO Runs HS Avg Strike 100s 50s Tests 43 77 5 3464 206 48.11 52.78 9 17 ODIs 119 115 11 4286 150*41.21 86.58 9 27 T20Is 23 22 0 621 75 28.22 124.20 0 6

  • on November 21, 2011, 4:14 GMT

    One of the reasons why people are so happy to see Bravo.. He not only reminds of Lara, rather he is so much Lara while batting that most fans have started calling him Junior Lara.. We are so thankful for him having come and show his Lara-esque play.. Each cricket fan in the world wishes to see Bravo play long and long.. The longer he plays, the more Lara we see.. Sorry Bravo for the pressure!! But thanks so much for being here!!!

  • cool2cool on November 20, 2011, 18:35 GMT

    @RandyOZ: You said that the state of Indian cricket is terrible at the moment. What stats are you referring to? India was never 21/9 and dismissed for 47. Isn't it embarrassing?

  • cool2cool on November 20, 2011, 18:30 GMT

    @RandyOZ: If Ponting is the best batsman since Bradman, why he has only one hundred in last 45 test innings? And why he has not performed consistently in sub-continent especially in India in tests. Isn't that embarrassing?

  • on November 20, 2011, 16:37 GMT

    @RandyOZ. Don't mix apples with oranges. Yes, comparing Gambhir with Ponting is totally out of place. But comparing Tendulkar with Ponting is not. I can't believe that you have not watched Sachin play -- so, it has to be some kind of allergy you seem to have developed. 'Sachinitis'? See a specialist. Get well soon. We need your occasional inputs to brighten up dull matches. I also want you back, because both of us also suffer from a delightful "Pom-bashinitis", as some of our earlier posts indicate!

  • Vinodha19 on November 20, 2011, 15:46 GMT

    Youngest Indian to play all 3 formats comfortablly.He is a match winner in 2007 T-20 final scoring 75, 2010 WC final scoring 97 and also had many vital patnerships with shewag in the test which helped india to be at the top for 2years.

  • on November 20, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    yop,,,it hs been rather unfruitful walking in classical form for Gmbhir,,,and equally agree tht he has been able to deflect the attention to his splendid run in limited version success...bt i wouldn't been worried abt this purple patch,,,since he often has been able to get a partnership with the other partner at the start and that is what much needed...in recent two test series he played a good hand in giving india a solid start...the problem with him is tht he gets out when it looks like he is set to score it big,,,and often gives opposition his wicket from nowhere....

  • RandyOZ on November 20, 2011, 6:05 GMT

    It's embarassing when Indians compare Gambhir and Sachin with Ponting. He has been the best batsman since Bradman. The state of Indian and English cricket is terrible at the moment. Soon it will be like the tri nations were i only the Southern Hemisphere competes.

  • on November 19, 2011, 16:42 GMT

    Wonderful guy, reminds me of my all time favorite maestro. Bravo!!!

  • kentjones on November 19, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Indded for young Bravo to have generated such comparison with the great BCLara is paying Bravo the greatest of compliments. Lara certainly will always stand out as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Whilst his records are written in histroy for all to peruse, it will be quite difficult to describe the thrill and excitement his batting generated to anyone who has not physically seen the master at work. Lara had the the ability to create sheer magic as a batsman, with him at the crease one knew that the impossible was indeed possible . He could turn proceeedings from dull to exciting with a nonchlant flick of the wrist, or a ballet like dance down the pitch or an exquisite forward drive or cut that despatched the ball hurriedly to its inevitable destination and moved the onlookers into literal states of frenzy. The most remarkable thing about him was at the wicket, evry batting record was at threat and even more remakable he could continue such onslaugt for a very long time.

  • Vnott on November 19, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    Gambhir is an aggressive opener and a terrific foil to Sehwag. Though he had a bad patch combined with injuries in the last 18 months and remember after a terrific 70+ average period in 2009... but signs are he is fit and getting back into his old consistent runs. If he keeps himself fit,he could clearly be among the best in world cricket. Look at the stats below. They talk for themselves.

    Type No Inn NO Runs HS Avg Strike 100s 50s Tests 43 77 5 3464 206 48.11 52.78 9 17 ODIs 119 115 11 4286 150*41.21 86.58 9 27 T20Is 23 22 0 621 75 28.22 124.20 0 6

  • anshu.sunny on November 19, 2011, 6:28 GMT

    so one cane take any particular period n prove either of lara,sachin,dravid,kallis,ponting to be the boss for that particular period..

  • anshu.sunny on November 19, 2011, 6:20 GMT

    i dont like this between 1999-2006 type statistical juggelery n all that used to prove hw one player was gud another nt so good.

    if u just change 99 to 98 n 2006 to 2005.

    .the average of ponting drops considerably n kallis goes ahead of him ib both runs scored n average n sachin tops all of them in terms of average but falls behind in terms of runs scored cuz he played 18 test matches less than Ponting n 20 less than Kallis.n difference in runs scored is mere 900 n 1000 odd respectively ..

  • on November 19, 2011, 2:53 GMT

    wibbly...chanderpaul is rite behind lara.. after lara is him...he is another great! what more can he do ? many of them dont have runs and 100s like him.

    wThese are hard times for cricket fans in the Windies and I've heard people say over and over that we were indeed blessed to have had the greatest team ever and we'll never see their like again. When Richards went, Lara came along and the best batsman in the world continued to be a West Indian, continuing a line begun by Sobers. When Lara retired we really thought that was it, Chanderpaul and Gayle are world-class but not legends. And now Bravo? Can we dare to hope? The jury is still out...the boy can bat but it remains to be seen if he can join the pantheon occupied by Headley, Greenidge, the 3 Ws, Sobers, Richards, Lara et al. It's an unbelievable standard to aspire to, but we can hope. Windies cricket needs another great, make that greats, hopefully

  • shailbuch on November 19, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    If Inverarity somehow ends up on this page, which is surely a possibilty... If that happens... you just pulled the trigger for Ponting by writing this....

  • Silloh on November 18, 2011, 23:51 GMT

    I don't like comparing these current young players with the great guys of the past but we West Indian fans have waited so long for consistent cricket dominance again that I do understand. So when we compare Darren Bravo with Lara , it's wishful thinking that Bravo will rise , learn from his mistakes and improve to greatness but I honestly hope it happens. But are we going to lose him to 20 / 20 as his brother Dwayne who seems to be injury prone ? only time will tell. Darren Sammy is not a great player,,,he never said he was but under his leadership I see a total team effort and some better contributions from him than others.

  • OhhhhMattyMatty on November 18, 2011, 23:37 GMT

    Darren Bravo is probably one of the 3 most exciting Test batsmen to watch in World Cricket at the moment. Along with Ian Bell and Matt Prior.

  • on November 18, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Mr. S Rajesh

    duo you really think that Gautam Gambhir is ponting class batsman?

  • elsmallo on November 18, 2011, 20:42 GMT

    re. Lara and Bravo - similarities are striking but I remember Lara in his early years being particularly strong behind square - he was a small guy with fantastically sharp reflexes and wrists. Bravo reminds me more of the later Lara - a heavier build (Bravo is also taller) and more inclined to drive down the ground and over the top. The sixes stats would support this, although more sixes tend to be hit these days in general. The other thing is the bats - Lara used a pretty light GN scoop bat early on to score his 375, 500*, which had nowhere near the power of the chunky bat Bravo uses. Still, he looks a fantastic player and should watch well the Indian batsmen in this series to learn how to play long innings especially Dravid and Laxman who are excellent accumulators.

  • on November 18, 2011, 20:37 GMT

    Lara intimidated spin bowlers from the outset. His 277 which he had scored by then was against stalwarts Matthews and Warne. He has decimated Murali who acknowledges it. He gave no quarter against spin, appearing to take a big stride forward, only t rock back and cut behind point. When he did skip down, a wonderful arc would send the ball sailing anywhere from cover (as he skipped outside leg) or midwicket as he danced inside the ball. He possessed an array of sweep shots that positioned the field for other shots. He even possessed the very fine sweep behind the keeper, almost less than 5 degrees from the wicket.

    These 2 series against Bangladesh and India have shown that while Bravo can play spin, far too long passages of play see him defending. For the superlative to be reached, he needs to be more proactive throughout the innings. If he learns, then it will be worth watching as his famous predecessor was.

  • zico123 on November 18, 2011, 20:07 GMT

    Ponting is a burden on the side for more than 2 years now, either he should walk off or selectors to take the hard call on his behalf, NZ series is the best time to blood in young players

  • Rahulbose on November 18, 2011, 18:05 GMT

    Oh to watch a young Lara bat again. He was amazing back then, as the stats show played more ground shots and yet scored mammoth scores at a fast pace. Bravo has one thing very different to Lara though. Lara started his career playing for the best test team in the world and excellence was just expected from WI players back then. Bravo plays in a side with Darren Sammy as the captain, just being able to compete is seen as a plus today.

  • S.Jagernath on November 18, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    As brilliant as Gautam Gambhir is and can be,he needs to produce runs regularly.If he is going to be injured often as well then he must fight to regain his spot if his replacement succeeds.Gambhir is now 30 and if he is dropped it could be the end of him.Especially with Ajinkya Rahand and Abhinav Mukund around.

  • on November 18, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    keep going on, Bravo. best of luck.

  • wibbly on November 18, 2011, 15:32 GMT

    These are hard times for cricket fans in the Windies and I've heard people say over and over that we were indeed blessed to have had the greatest team ever and we'll never see their like again. When Richards went, Lara came along and the best batsman in the world continued to be a West Indian, continuing a line begun by Sobers. When Lara retired we really thought that was it, Chanderpaul and Gayle are world-class but not legends. And now Bravo? Can we dare to hope? The jury is still out...the boy can bat but it remains to be seen if he can join the pantheon occupied by Headley, Greenidge, the 3 Ws, Sobers, Richards, Lara et al. It's an unbelievable standard to aspire to, but we can hope. Windies cricket needs another great, make that greats, hopefully we've found one.

  • on November 18, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    gambhir also noticed, but when compared to another opener in the squad(rahane) he is well experienced .. no other opener in good touch in outside domestic level also.. so we r going with gambhir.. anyhow well experienced batting squad only going to "INVADE Australia", no more experiments wont be there... looking forward to another HARD FIGHTING SERIES in australia..

  • Arunvilla on November 18, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    Gambhir is injured all the time...otherwise he is the best player now for india...he won the world cup and t20 world cup what else you can have more than that...?he will get into top form in aus

  • indyarox on November 18, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Going by the past record of how Aus does away with thier senior non performing players Punter is lucky he is in the Aus team. It is more to do with no suitable replacement as of now. But dont think he is too far away from the axe.

  • on November 18, 2011, 12:47 GMT

    gambir is not lke ponting! he was injuried in england and b4 that and now he's doing well! last game he made 65!

  • on November 18, 2011, 11:54 GMT

    I am into stats myself, we r also c ing some science at work(genes),it happens all the time, h/ever in some cases more pronounce. I am so upbeat about WI cricket, I can hardly control my emotion. BARATH, EDWARDS, BRAVO, SHIV, SAMUELS, RUSSEL, RAVI, ROACH, FIDEL, BISHOO, & others. The ease in which Bravo hit sixes is a delight, 17 test sixes in 12 matches, is that a record? Who needs Gayle? What we need is FIDEL, RAVI, ROACH & BISHOO, in the same test agst India, & then I will be totally convinced. No whitewash for WI.

  • on November 18, 2011, 11:50 GMT

    it just a matter of time when gautam gambhir gets his touch back but in these time he played brillantly in SA in eng he batted 50% injured that too freak injuries which can happen to the fittest palyers he also was injured in sa for a test and in sri lanka and also in home series vs he also won us the WC FINAL and t20 wc final to me he is the key players for australia seires if he does surely we will do well also he has looked good against WI its just a matter of time until those centuries are back he is getting the runs

  • on November 18, 2011, 10:29 GMT

    what a privilege it would be to see a Lara mark II.

  • indianpunter on November 18, 2011, 9:47 GMT

    I am glad that you posted this after several emails from me where i requested Gambhir's test record over the past 2 yrs be examined. But even i dint guess it would be this bad !! He is now a liability to the team with his poor fielding and attitude, in addition to his loss of form ( such a sook he was in England and wouldnt play the test, but promptly declared himself fit for the CL T20). I hope this missed no one's attention.

  • Haleos on November 18, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    surprised to see Dravid average is just 44.46. Thought it would have been higher.

  • ZA77 on November 18, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    We can watch resemblences in batting technique of Lara and Bravo. It is great salute to Lara that people believe in him as he left cricket in 2006. The only complete man in history of test cricket who has each and everything. Like his 3 double hundred in front of Warne and McGrath. Two double hundred in front of Murlitharan make him special and better than others. Master peice innings like 400 and 375, also 277. Highest situational innings like 213 and 153 not out. Match saving inning like 120 against India. World record holder of highest runs in individual inning in test plus first class too. 19 times 150 or plus is very speical one. Now record belongs to Tendulkar with 20 times. Former highest runs maker in test cricket. Special thing is that he had all records at a time. He took only 232 innings for 19 times 150 or plus as compare to his peers. How can we forget as he excelled S. Africa from World cup in one day cricket twice from the pool, first one in 1996 and second one in 2003.

  • on November 18, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Wow! What a coincidence! I am blessed to have been alive to see Brian Lara bat, mostly through the television screens. But I am more blessed to have seen his cousin, Darren Bravo, resemble his batting technique. Even Adrian Bharath sometimes play Lara looking shots. Hopefully, these guys build a strong batting lineup with Samuels and K.Edwards. West Indies have produced two special talents, The Brian Lara, and Brian Lara 2.0 known as Darren Bravo. Trinidad and Tobago celebrate! West Indies forever! Thank God!

  • on November 18, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    This is the problem with just seeing stats. Gambhir was injured 4 times(Aus,SL,RSA,Eng series) during this period in different series; its not like he is totally out of form. On other hand, Ponting is going through same situation as Dravid before this year.

  • on November 18, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Punter needs a score today big time mefinks .

  • on November 18, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Hmm..Strange..Didnt notice Gambhir's poor form in Tests. That is what having a batsman like Sehwag can do to you. By the time Gambhir gets out, Sehwag would have put the team into a very strong position, it really does not matter whether you score or not. And then you have people like Dravid, Laxman who scores.

  • Charindra on November 18, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    If Bravo can do 70% of what Lara did that would still be great for WI! But it's too soon to predict

  • satish619chandar on November 18, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Surprising to see Gambhir, Hafeez and Strauss in the list though.. All three are the fulcrum o ftheir respective team.. Might be because other openers haven't played the mark of 15 innings!! Good to see Bravo matching Lara's records at the same point of career.. Wish he develops into something special!! We need more big 100s from him.. @jonesy2 : Gambhir has age on his side and he is not blocking anyone from the side.. Punter obviously aged and as well as blocking a heavily scoring Khawaja..

  • Saksham197 on November 18, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Surprising really to see Gambhir in such a list. And also surprising that no one actually noticed this before this article. Maybe because the other batsmen shielded him pretty well. And, as for England, the whole team had collectively failed and also he was unlucky with injuries. Still, we all know Gambhirs potential, he knows what its like to be the No. 1 test batsman in the world. He will be back with the best in no time. Theres a lot of cricket in him and his one day records show that.

  • jonesy2 on November 18, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    wow, i have heard nobody say anything like gambhir should be dropped or anything like that but people are wanting the greatest winner in test cricket history to go? sums up the logic of those that comment on cricinfo

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  • jonesy2 on November 18, 2011, 6:23 GMT

    wow, i have heard nobody say anything like gambhir should be dropped or anything like that but people are wanting the greatest winner in test cricket history to go? sums up the logic of those that comment on cricinfo

  • Saksham197 on November 18, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Surprising really to see Gambhir in such a list. And also surprising that no one actually noticed this before this article. Maybe because the other batsmen shielded him pretty well. And, as for England, the whole team had collectively failed and also he was unlucky with injuries. Still, we all know Gambhirs potential, he knows what its like to be the No. 1 test batsman in the world. He will be back with the best in no time. Theres a lot of cricket in him and his one day records show that.

  • satish619chandar on November 18, 2011, 7:34 GMT

    Surprising to see Gambhir, Hafeez and Strauss in the list though.. All three are the fulcrum o ftheir respective team.. Might be because other openers haven't played the mark of 15 innings!! Good to see Bravo matching Lara's records at the same point of career.. Wish he develops into something special!! We need more big 100s from him.. @jonesy2 : Gambhir has age on his side and he is not blocking anyone from the side.. Punter obviously aged and as well as blocking a heavily scoring Khawaja..

  • Charindra on November 18, 2011, 7:45 GMT

    If Bravo can do 70% of what Lara did that would still be great for WI! But it's too soon to predict

  • on November 18, 2011, 7:46 GMT

    Hmm..Strange..Didnt notice Gambhir's poor form in Tests. That is what having a batsman like Sehwag can do to you. By the time Gambhir gets out, Sehwag would have put the team into a very strong position, it really does not matter whether you score or not. And then you have people like Dravid, Laxman who scores.

  • on November 18, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    Punter needs a score today big time mefinks .

  • on November 18, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    This is the problem with just seeing stats. Gambhir was injured 4 times(Aus,SL,RSA,Eng series) during this period in different series; its not like he is totally out of form. On other hand, Ponting is going through same situation as Dravid before this year.

  • on November 18, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    Wow! What a coincidence! I am blessed to have been alive to see Brian Lara bat, mostly through the television screens. But I am more blessed to have seen his cousin, Darren Bravo, resemble his batting technique. Even Adrian Bharath sometimes play Lara looking shots. Hopefully, these guys build a strong batting lineup with Samuels and K.Edwards. West Indies have produced two special talents, The Brian Lara, and Brian Lara 2.0 known as Darren Bravo. Trinidad and Tobago celebrate! West Indies forever! Thank God!

  • ZA77 on November 18, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    We can watch resemblences in batting technique of Lara and Bravo. It is great salute to Lara that people believe in him as he left cricket in 2006. The only complete man in history of test cricket who has each and everything. Like his 3 double hundred in front of Warne and McGrath. Two double hundred in front of Murlitharan make him special and better than others. Master peice innings like 400 and 375, also 277. Highest situational innings like 213 and 153 not out. Match saving inning like 120 against India. World record holder of highest runs in individual inning in test plus first class too. 19 times 150 or plus is very speical one. Now record belongs to Tendulkar with 20 times. Former highest runs maker in test cricket. Special thing is that he had all records at a time. He took only 232 innings for 19 times 150 or plus as compare to his peers. How can we forget as he excelled S. Africa from World cup in one day cricket twice from the pool, first one in 1996 and second one in 2003.

  • Haleos on November 18, 2011, 9:40 GMT

    surprised to see Dravid average is just 44.46. Thought it would have been higher.