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ESPNcricinfo's stats editor S Rajesh looks at the stories behind the stats

The best Test batsmen at home

Shivnarine Chanderpaul is among the best batsmen in the world in home Tests, which was demonstrated once again against familiar opposition, Australia

S Rajesh

April 13, 2012

Comments: 78 | Text size: A | A

Shivnarine Chanderpaul hits a six, India v West Indies, 1st Test, New Delhi, 1st day
Shivnarine Chanderpaul averages more than 63 against five teams in home Tests © Associated Press
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After the second day of the Barbados Test between West Indies and Australia, Shane Watson almost seemed at his wits' end as he tried to search for ways to curb Shivnarine Chanderpaul after he had defied Australia's bowlers for almost six-and-a-half hours in scoring an unbeaten 103. "The way he plays, getting back and across and being able to use his hands to get the ball into the gaps, and he does it for such a long period of time, it's hard to actually find a way for him to play a false shot because of the way he's set up for these conditions here," Watson said. Australia did find a way through Chanderpaul's defenses in the second innings when Ryan Harris produced a gem which took the outside edge of his bat, but by then he had already become the highest run-getter in Tests in Barbados, and had scored five centuries in seven home Tests against Australia.

Chanderpaul's overall career stats are pretty impressive, but at home those numbers take another dimension altogether. Of the nine teams he has played against, he averages more than 63 against five of them. The Indians have suffered more than most teams, also because they've played against him in home conditions so often - 17 Tests have fetched him 1547 runs, which is almost 30% of the total Test runs he has scored at home.

The only team that has kept his runs under control in the West Indies over a significant number of matches is England: in 18 home Tests against them, Chanderpaul has managed only two hundreds, and an average of 40. In fact, England is the one team against whom Chanderpaul has a much better away average - 64.66, in 13 Tests.

Despite that blip against England, Chanderpaul's overall home average is more than 58, which puts him in the top ten among batsmen who've scored at least 4000 runs at home. The table below lists the batsmen with the highest home averages (with the cut-off mentioned earlier), and also lists the difference between their home and away averages. Chanderpaul's is 16.27, which is one of the higher differences - in fact, the only batsman with a higher difference is Mahela Jayawardene, whose away average of 37.94 is nowhere near his mean in home Tests.

On the other hand, there are three batsmen for whom the difference is less than five. Two of them are contemporary names, and among the greatest batsmen ever - for Jacques Kallis, the home average of 58.59 is quite an achievement given that pitches in his home country often offer a fair amount of assistance to the bowlers. Sachin Tendulkar's averages in Australia and England are the stand-out ones among his overseas numbers. The third among those three is Don Bradman, who only played in Australia and England, and clearly preferred playing in England.

Highest averages in home Tests (Qual: 4000 runs)
Batsman Home Tests Runs Average 100s/ 50s Away ave Difference*
Don Bradman 33 4322 98.22 18/ 10 102.84 -4.62
Garry Sobers 44 4075 66.80 14/ 12 50.73 16.07
Mahela Jayawardene 72 6646 63.90 22/ 30 37.94 25.96
Javed Miandad 60 4481 61.38 14/ 17 45.80 15.58
Kumar Sangakkara 60 5186 59.60 16/ 19 49.95 9.65
Ricky Ponting 89 7546 58.95 23/ 38 46.87 12.08
Brian Lara 65 6217 58.65 17/ 26 47.80 10.85
Jacques Kallis 82 6738 58.59 22/ 32 54.76 3.83
Shivnarine Chanderpaul 67 5213 58.57 17/ 26 42.30 16.27
Virender Sehwag 44 4248 58.19 12/ 19 44.65 13.54
Matthew Hayden 56 5210 57.88 21/ 16 42.68 15.20
Sachin Tendulkar 82 6765 56.37 22/ 29 54.74 1.63
* Home average minus away average

Coming back to Chanderpaul, his home-away stats against Australia presents an interesting contrast: at home against them, he is completely on top of his game. His last nine Test innings against them at home reads thus: 104, 118, 11, 107*, 77*, 79*, 50, 103* and 12 - 661 runs for five dismissals, at an average of 132.20. No wonder Watson seemed so frustrated when he spoke about Chanderpaul. But he also mentioned "in these conditions", because on Australian pitches, Chanderpaul has hardly been as prolific. His overall average in 11 Tests in Australia is only 30.20, and his last ten Test innings there read thus: 2, 7, 39, 10, 25, 4, 2, 2, 62, 27 - 180 runs at 18.00.

The difference of 51.20 between Chanderpaul's home and away averages against Australia is a significant one, but the table below shows that there are quite a few instances of even higher differences between home and away averages for batsmen against a particular team. On top of the list is Zaheer Abbas, with his record against India: at home against them he was unstoppable, scoring six centuries - all of them 150-plus scores - in 13 innings; in India, though, Zaheer's record was quite disappointing, with only score of more than 50 in 12 innings. The difference between his home and away averages was a staggering 130.10.

In fact, India is a recurring name in the opposition column in the table below - five of the top 12 differences in averages have been against India. That indicates a couple of things: how effective the Indian bowlers are in home conditions, and how poorly they adjust overseas. There are also a couple of Sri Lankans there, and Jayawardene is one of three batsmen whose name appears twice in the list below. Given that his overall overseas average is so much below his home stats, that isn't a surprise. He recently had another fantastic home series against them, but his overseas numbers against them and South Africa are quite ordinary.

Peter May and Virender Sehwag are the others with twin appearances in the table below. May had superb numbers at home against West Indies and South Africa, but didn't much enjoy touring those countries - in South Africa, he averaged only 15.30 in five Tests. Sehwag started his international career with some stunning knocks in South Africa, Australia and England, but over the last few years, his away stats have taken a beating, which is reflected in his home average being more than 13 runs higher than his away average.

Highest home-away difference in average for a batsman v an opposition (Qual: 5 Tests*)
Batsman Opposition Home-Tests, average Away-Tests, average Difference
Zaheer Abbas India 11, 158.55 8, 28.45 130.10
Thilan Samaraweera India 7, 130.40 6, 24.12 106.28
Mahela Jayawardene South Africa 7, 105.27 8, 27.87 77.40
Mudassar Nazar India 10, 97.54 8, 29.83 67.71
Harbajan Singh New Zealand 7, 81.00 6, 13.50 67.50
Peter May West Indies 5, 97.80 8, 35.50 62.30
Ricky Ponting India 15, 86.04 14, 26.48 59.56
Virender Sehwag South Africa 7, 84.00 8, 25.47 58.53
Tom Graveney West Indies 9, 91.45 10, 35.07 56.39
Mahela Jayawardene England 11, 89.00 10, 34.11 54.89
Peter May South Africa 7, 68.45 5, 15.30 53.15
Doug Walters India 5, 94.00 5, 40.86 53.14
Virender Sehwag New Zealand 5, 71.87 5, 20.00 51.87
Mohammad Azharuddin England 6, 93.29 9, 41.67 51.62
Adam Parore Zimbabwe 5, 79.25 6, 28.00 51.25
Shivnarine Chanderpaul Australia 7, 81.40 11, 30.20 51.20
* Five Tests each at home and away

Some stats contributed by Travis Basevi.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 16, 2012, 21:14 GMT)

@csowmi7, what I'm saying is that it is easier coming in at no.4 than it is at no.3. That is a fact, no need to argue. Now to address your points, Kallis did ok in Australia, averaged 46. He did poorly in England, which does count against him. And your assertion about Strauss and Lara is absurd and shows you haven't read my post properly. For simplicity's sake, Strauss averages 40, Lara averages 50. Batting position matters but does not account for 10 runs difference. And Lara played in and captained a weak team, had entertainment value, etc (all positive adjustments). If you read my earlier post, this is about comparing the true greats, who all have excellent records. A true comparison is to compare Lara, Ponting, Tendulkar and Kallis all of whom average over 50. That's when the true game begins.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 16, 2012, 20:57 GMT)

@puroniks, no I'm from Australia. To address your points, yes, there are plenty of adjustments to be made. South Africa have better openers but don't forget, Sehwag and Dravid have given India solid platforms to build in the past, so Tendulkar still has an advantage coming in at four (Kallis batted half his career at 3 and is now at 4). The longevity factor including all the ODIs Tendulkar has played is the biggest positive adjustment that counts heavily to his greatness. 23 years is a long time and significantly longer than the current next best, Ponting at 16 years. Having said that, I still feel that Kallis as an all-rounder deserves credit. It is extremely hard to bowl 10 to 15 overs per innings at over 130km/h for 14 years and then bat in the top order. The only living example of this is Shane Watson and he struggles to maintain his concentration to convert fifties to hundreds, something Kallis also struggled with.

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 16, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

@billycc your arguments are pointless and have no meaning. What you're saying is that because tendulkar batted at number 4 he has a better record in England and Australia than Kallis who batted at number 3. Kallis simply lacked the technique and desire to score in these two countries. The batting position has nothing to do with it. Going by your logic Andrew Strauss is a better batsman than Lara because he opened the batting and had to face the new ball unlike Lara who came 2 down. Agreed that Kallis is the greatest all rounder in the modern era but talking from pure batsman-ship Tendulkar is ahead.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (April 16, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Mr. Billy, Ok so u mean greatest as in greatest" all round cricketer"? But kallis bats at 4 right after amla for the last 4-5 years?. U cant say no. 4 is an easier position to bat for sachin then no. 3 for kallis. Admitedly, sa has has better, consistenty had better openers than india and so sachin has had to come in a lot earlier than say, if india had better openers. (thats an adjustment to make also, perhaps?) and what about ODIS? Sachin has had to face the best of the opposition new ball bowlers consistently throughout, and he has scored at a very fast, pace always setting the tone, something kallis cant really boast of. So in purely terms of batting, sachin wins hands down unquestionably. But surely kallis contributes with the ball too, but just one point, i wouldnt say kallis is really a threateing matchwinning bowler really, in tests or odis so ur saying kallis the best of his time (all round ) just because he bowls as well? BTW, I like Ur thinking:) are u from SA?:)

Posted by   on (April 16, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

@Swingit I like ur coments but not totally the way u describe Indian spinner (that include Kumble and Harbhajhan who has taken more than 600 and 400 wkts respectively) as garbage no one can buy.If Gayle has so much passionate about the game he will Currently in west indian cricket board not showing his talent in Cash riched Cricket Circus.Lara failure in limited sereis in india too means, if Sachin havent been perofrmed any specific country every one would went after him.Still both of them are great on equal ranks

Posted by BillyCC on (April 16, 2012, 8:27 GMT)

@puroniks, I don't know how to put it any more simply, it's an easy concept to understand. Yes, Sachin is the best batsman of his generation but greatness is about so many different factors and adjustments have to be made if you truly want to compare apples with apples. You can't ignore these other factors. I'll refer to an earlier post you made: Sachin's record outshines Kallis' in England and Australia. That is a positive adjustment for Tendulkar. But Kallis batted at three, which is ultimately a much harder position. You would expect a no.3 batsman to have a worse record than a no.4 batsman, and so Kallis gets a positive adjustment for that. And let's not even mention the bowling, that would be game set and match.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (April 16, 2012, 1:15 GMT)

Mr BillyCC I dont really get what u are saying and am sure the others dont get it either i aint sure if u urself exactly know what u want to say ... sachin is the best but not the greatest? then who is the greatest? what is the difference between best and greatest Plz enlighten us ... ur agrument is very weak and ambivalent:) Plz publish thanks.

Posted by BillyCC on (April 15, 2012, 21:53 GMT)

@all, there seems to be a lot of irrelevant discussion concerning the topic. The best Test batsmen at home are listed in the table comparing averages and it's pretty clear that Bradman, Sobers, Jayawardene and Miandad stand well above all the others. On the other topic, there seems to be a misunderstanding between the term "best" and "greatest". These terms are different especially when ranking amongst players with similar records. Best is about a judgment of technique, talent, eye-catching and overall quantity and quality. Greatness is a judgment of everything mentioned above, but adjusting for the oranges or apples eg. captaincy (Ponting), batting position (Ponting, Kallis), longevity (Tendulkar), all-rounder capability (Kallis, Sobers), how often you changed the status of a game (Richards). The best batsman of this generation is Tendulkar and this is confirmed by commentators who confuse the terms. However, it is very clear that he is not necessarily the greatest of this generation.

Posted by Sanjiyan on (April 15, 2012, 16:38 GMT)

@zxaar Apparently you have trouble comprehending the point. The point was that Kallis is much more than just a batsman. No matter how many wickets or catches he takes he will always be compared to the greatest batsmen of our era which is why i brought up my previous point. Why would you want to compare appels with oranges? You might not be a Kallis fan but you cant simply ignore his bowling and fielding just because it suits you.

Posted by Aristotle01 on (April 15, 2012, 9:25 GMT)

Richie benaus has said sachin is the best since bradman.. viv richards has said sachin is 99.5 percent perfect. hadlee has said sachin is the best ever. sobers had said he is the best in the world. does kallis or ponting ever get such compliments?! No.Donald, akram , pollock , warne, lee have all said he is the best they have bowled to. aand yeah for anyone saying ricky has played mor match winning inns coz he has most no. of wins is ABSOLUTE TRIPE.GIBBERSIH. he has that many wins coz of the 8-9 others in the team, wrne mcgrth lee gilly haydos waugh langer.team effort. if sachin had that team then obvi even he would have that many wins. that is the most ridiculous stat ever. in the mid 90s India was a one man show and sachin bailed India to a draw from a loss so many times. ina test u need matchwinning bowlers which India has never had. by randy oz'S LOGIC DAMIEN MARTYN IS BETTER THAN LARA COS MARTYN HAD MORE 'WINS !!SRT's all round bat. record is UNMATCHED.PLZ POST!!PLZ!

Posted by Aristotle01 on (April 15, 2012, 7:29 GMT)

@LLoyd Phillips-sorry mate Ur point is completely misplaced. u cannot , compare a guy who has played just 22 tests to some one who has played 188 tests... who said he wwould have maintained the same high level even for 50 tests... we have all seen huseey ... he averaged 80 in his first 15 matches after that he has been pretty mediocre.... 12 ducks already since .... so no sorry it does great disservice to guys like sachin and ponting who have played more than 6 times the amnt that george headly did..... and george headly averaged 60 not 90 like bradman(99.94)... so no sorry george heady, grame pollock these guys would have surely been greats but do not qualify for whatever unfortunate incidents(world war, aprtheid)

Posted by Aristotle01 on (April 15, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

@kallis01 .. no one denies kallis is a great batsman.. but apart from the fact that SRT has thrived in all sorts of conditions, on all pitches, against all opposition with bowlers from different eras,(from abrose and walsh to akram and donald, from waqar and mc grath to warne and murali, from brett lee and pollock to steyn.). in tests and odis, tell me one shot that is more pleasing to watch t of kallis' than sachins. sachin's game is a heger risk game , wchin may suggest the marginally lower average... but his record in england an aus outshines kallis' by a humilating margin ... as far as odis is concerned, kallis cannot be compared to SRT sorry, he has never played the kind of inns that sachin has ever ,plus his SR is very low! But all in all kallis is a great batsman but to sachin, in quality of batsmanship he pales in comparision:) every expert will agree... who has publicy ever said hat kallis is better than sachin? which player/past or present? NOT ONE!!

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 15, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

@swingit. I suppose that Harhbhajan singh with 406 wickets and anil kumble with 619 wickets are garbage indeed. Looking at Ponting's record in India, Pakistan and SL you can see that he struggled the most in India. Danish Kaneria is not even in the same league as these two. Lara was hardly consistent and never was a match winner like so many claim. His 400 and 375 only led to draws. Out of his 34 centuries only 7 led to victories. Thats a win % of about 20%. Out of Tendulkar's 51 centuries 20 led to victories. A win% close to 40%. Lara is a bigger match winner than Tendulkar?

Posted by Kaze on (April 15, 2012, 0:42 GMT)

Kallis is #1 plain and simple

Posted by Swingit on (April 14, 2012, 23:23 GMT)

Couple of point. First off RandyOz you have to realize by now you have no credibility here. You are just the Ozzie version of SRT blinded Indian fans (long live Dravid I say). You seriously bringing Hussey into this to campare with Lara and SRT? I am sure if Ponting was not an Ozzie you would have similarly dismissed him. Second for the Indians fans who constantly cry about the pressure of a billion fans well how about the unwavering adulation of a billion fans. Chris gayle thrives on that. If he was Indian he would thus be better than SRT then. Lara always wanted an audience so if Windies had even a 20 million to support him he would have been THE god. Finally while we are on Lara please dont bring up his failure in India. There was none! he simply did not play there enough. India had garbage spinners for even subcontinental conditions in his time. Now look at what he did to Murali in SL and Danish Kaniera (at his peak) in Pak and judge his subcontinental skills.

Posted by Swingit on (April 14, 2012, 23:07 GMT)

@Haron Ismail are you blind? Don't you see that both Ponting and Lara have better averages than Kallis at home? Not to mention the REAL measure of ALLl cricketers- the indomitable Sir Garfield Sobers. Anyway Kallis is just too boring sorry. Rirghtly or wrongly, he will never rise to the top in the collective consciousness of the masses, like a stroke player the like o f SRT, or a batting genius like Lara or a warrior like Ponting. He really belong with that other group of cricketers who are likely as important or more important to their test sides as the big three but will never get the recognition - I am referring to the comparable Messrs Dravid and Chanderpaul, not bad company to keep at all as injured as Kallis fans me feel about it.

Posted by Khan2491 on (April 14, 2012, 22:43 GMT)

My list 1. Bradman (no matter how you adjust his stats down, he is far ahead of all) 2. Lara (He has scored so well under pressure, scored 380 and 400, single handedly won test matches in spite of weak WI team back then. His 2 innings single handedly won WI against top Aus team and end up drawing series) 3. Tendulkar (probably best stats after bradman. He is 3 because he hasnt performed as good as he does under pressure. I have not seen him as a lone warrior in any of the games I have followed. He can pile up runs like no one) 4. Viv Richards (many regard him as the best. he was great but a little weak in playing against spinners otherwise a destroyer)

Posted by zxaar on (April 14, 2012, 21:38 GMT)

@Walter Aussems " Lets put it this way: how many Catches has SRT taken? or Wickets? " --------------- Sure. Now why not put this way: How many stumpings Kallis has done?? Kallis must be worse than Nayan Mogiya then by the type of logic you are using. There is a reason the article does not talk about catches taken or wickets taken when taking about batting. Whenever Kallis and his pseudo average is compared with likes of tendulkar lara ponting etc, his fanboys comes up with irrelevant things like wickets and catches.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 20:56 GMT)

it is a pity no one seems to remember george headley who have a better record than many of the players mention here 22 test 11 test hundred making half r more than half ot the test innings score more often than anybody including bradman maybe if he had gotten the chance to play as much test matches as often as many of those players his average would been in the 75 to 80 areawhen his carrer was over as a cricketer a would of play callis over tendulkar r ponting any day brian lara score his runs against the best bowlers all over the world unlike ponting and tendulkar they have runs yes but how many have the get against warne/muli/mcgrath at home and abroad

Posted by pinhead9810 on (April 14, 2012, 17:52 GMT)

Both Tendulkar and Kallis are great players. Tendulkar, probably the greatest batsman of his generation and Kallis, definitely the best cricketer of his generation. I, however, believe Tendulkar to be the better batsman and Kallis to be the better cricketer.

Posted by harshthakor on (April 14, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

To me the ultimate champions at home were Zaheer Abbas and Javed Miandad ,who dominated bowling in a Bradmanesque manner at their best in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

In the case of Australians it was more demanding playing on their home wickets which were fast and bouncy .This is the reason I rate both the Chappell brothers amongst the best batsman of all time,also considering the Packer era.Imagine facing the likes of Holding.Imran etc on fast Australian tracks.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

@ Agha Azeem mOST OF THE CRICKET FANS RATES HOME TEST CENTURIES BELOW PAR AND NOW U ARE PRESSING SUPERIORITY OF PONTNG ON BASIS OF HIS MOST HOME CENTURY THAN SACHIM

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 13:24 GMT)

DON BRADMAN IS SIMPLY THE BEST.....NO MATCH AT ALL ITHINK PONTING + LARA = BRADMAN

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 13:20 GMT)

PONTING has the highest number of centuries in HOME TEST ONE AHEAD TO TENDULKAR,,,:) PONTING THE BEST

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

I love all the Kallis bashers here. Lets put it this way: how many Catches has SRT taken? or Wickets? Same applies for Ponting. Thing is everyone seems to Put Kallis as a pure batsman while hes a bowler and fieldsman as well. Now tell me If you bowl lets say 20-25 overs then have to bat..or you just have to bat. Which would be harder to do, mentally and physically? Exactly, so give Kallis credit where its due. Tendulkar will always be fantastic, Ponting will always be hard as nails, Lara will always be entertaining and Kallis will always be superman. If i had to chose between the 4 for a team, with my life on the line...id take Kallis in a heartbeat.

Posted by Manager on (April 14, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

Yes RandyOZ this proves how great Ponting is! He (and others like you) should be proud of the fact that he is clubbed with the great batsmen Harbhajan Singh in a Batting Stats Table. Hail the great Ponting (also the great RandyOZ for making apt observation).

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 8:16 GMT)

To be contd @Randy oz....We regards Ponting too is the greatest batsman of his era but unlike Sachin he was steamrolled badly by the bowlers when they are on Roll and he is below Par eg Harbhajan in 2001,Bond in 2002,Ishant sharma 2007-8,e.Sachin always been Target on dreadful empire and more often than not Against Australia in asutralia but he never made a noise on and off the field while your Ponting who have given so many life by the umpires always look alike Crying babies when the decision sometimes went against his favour ,Bradman and Tendulkar are always greatest were Ponting is great thats the difference.Mr Rndy oz hoping for ur feed back comments

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

@ RandyOZ you must recharge ur cricketting sense i guess,Sachin is the best batsman of all time since Birth of Cricket in this planets.As per Bradmans are concern he born in different era.Where the Cricket has been played in front of handful people now Cricket are watching by millions milions so the presure is unbearable. In Bradmanera Cricket has been played as Fun while in Tendulkars it profeesionally compettive,Bradman played most of his cricket against England so he go used to their attack while he never plated in turning Subcontinent Track which is hell for overseas batters even today whhile Sachin Played every where against all type of attack,Yes Bradmans have the average 99 that is commandable and saluteable and he always admired sachin for his batting.While Ponting is concerned please have alook 2001 series in India he was worst as no 11 players,Beside if Harbhajan,Ishant,Bond etc had made the mockery of his battingguess what Mcgrath & co might have done to him.. to be cont

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Sachin stands head and shoulders above everyone except Bradman.Kallis never made a mark in England and Austaralia.

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 14, 2012, 5:53 GMT)

@RandyOZ please enlighten me as to how this article says that Ponting is better than Sachin. It clearly shows that he averages only 46 abroad compared to Tendulkar's 54. His difference between his home and away average is 12. Shows that Ponting is fit to play only at home. Please check Ponting's wonderful record in India before commenting. An average of 26 with one series in which he scored 5 runs. If Ponting cant score on the flat track pitches in India it shows how great a player he truly is. Maybe if Ponting hadn't been struggling against Harbhajan he would have achieved something as captain in India besides his 0-2 whitwashes in 2008 and 2010.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 5:16 GMT)

.This proves SRT is the greatest of all times by miles...

Posted by zxaar on (April 14, 2012, 4:41 GMT)

@kallis_01 " whereas kallis has played most of his games in South Africa where the ball swings, sema and bounce making very difficult for a top oder batsmen. "------------------- Kallis averages 29 in England where ball swing seems and bounces. So Kallis is below average batsman. Case closed. Thanks for playing. No go home.

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 14, 2012, 3:52 GMT)

@Beertjie There is no doubt that Kallis is a skillful batsman but his skills have never been tested against the best bowling attacks. He scored a majority of his runs in the 2000s and never played with the likes of Akram, Imran, Warne, Muralitharan Waqar, Ambrose and Walsh when they were in their prime. Look at the quality of bowling present nowadays and you will understand. Also Kallis has scored only 2 double centuries against the weak bowling attacks of India and Sri Lanka without Murali and Vaas. Tendulkar has seven double centuries and 20 scores above 150. Ponting has 6 while Lara has 7 along with a triple century and his famous 400*.

Posted by sportofpain on (April 14, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

All great players - Lara was breathtaking, easilybthe most exciting to watch, Ponting dangerous as heck once he got in, Kaliis metronomic - almost Borg like - and rhe hardest to dismiss, Sachin closest to perfection. On any given day you could argue that one was better than the other and you'd not be unreasonable in saying so. For impact on the game though it has to be Kallis - these runs plus 300 wickets. That is scarcely believable. He is not man, he is not superman, he is from another planet.

Posted by kallis_01 on (April 14, 2012, 1:35 GMT)

tendulkar has played a large part of his test matches in the subcontinent where bat is much easier for top order batsmen; the new ball doesnt swing, smean or bounce as much as grounds around the world whereas kallis has played most of his games in South Africa where the ball swings, sema and bounce making very difficult for a top oder batsmen. this, in my opinion, make kallis a better batsmen than tendulkar and the best of the modern era especially when after considering all of this his average is better!

Posted by RandyOZ on (April 14, 2012, 1:26 GMT)

This article proves how poor Sachin is, and how great Bradman and Ponting are. Hands down the two greatest cricketers of all time. Mike Hussey isn't far away.

Posted by   on (April 14, 2012, 1:11 GMT)

Time and again its proven, Sachin is the best. He was compared with Lara, Waugh, Ponting and now Kallis.... 23 years, still going !

Posted by Beertjie on (April 13, 2012, 23:22 GMT)

@csowmi7, it's not "aggression" that makes a batsman great, but skill. Kallis has an abundance of the latter, but even in his home country people would rather see de Villiers bat than Kallis. Now that he's playing a lot of T20 he's even attempting to bring some flair to his batting, but at the price of his legendary consistency! I grew up marvelling at Graeme Pollock, but the stats will tell you Kallis the batsman is the proven master across the cricket playing world.

Posted by viswanav on (April 13, 2012, 22:28 GMT)

To all those who have written comments against Kallis, I just have one thing to say. Kallis is an all rounder, while Tendulkar is a batsman...Kallis and Sobers are the only all rounders in that list...That's why they are considered the best in that category...For some reason, all rounders in this game do not get their due when compared with pure batsmen or pure bowlers...Simply put, Kallis is a brilliant batsman, very useful bowler, and an outstanding fielder in all three forms of the game.

Posted by zxaar on (April 13, 2012, 22:16 GMT)

Kallis averages so heavily because he is NOT OUT more than 15% of innings he has batted. While tendulkar is not out 10% of him innings. Kallis averages very heavily against india and tendulkar averages modest 44 against SA. This is because of bowling difference. On neutrals for example in England kallis averages 29 while tendulkar averages 50plus.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

@muski Dravid was very poor in SA and SL and average in Aus (except 2003-04). His blind supporters never mention his failures there , or poor record in 4th innings. Only SRT gets singled out even though he is better by a decent margin. WHY? Dravid has 'hijacked' the bowlers good performances many times. Bowlers don't get credit but Dravid does for winning? SRT gets all criticism for losses even after scoring but not bowlers or Dravid? Ganguly era was harsh to SRT. SOMEONE TELL ME - AUS WON IN INDIA IN 2004 AT DRAVID'S PEAK WHEN SRT WAS MISSING AND BARELY PLAYED (FORCED TO PLAY)WITH INJURY? WHY WAS DRAVID NOT CRITICISED THEN?

Posted by MrGarreth on (April 13, 2012, 20:25 GMT)

Haha wow the Sachin fans are angry! How dare anyone think Kallis is up there with Sachin! Haha lets be honest there is not much between Ponting, Lara, Kallis and Tendulkar. As much as the Sachin fans have tried to create a gap between him and the rest, that gap just does not exist. He has more runs and more centuries because he has been playing for longer. Plain and simple and that is the only reason. I do however believe he is the the best ODI bastman of all time. But hey if Kallis, Lara and Ponting had opened for the majority of their career, who knows how many 100s they would have scored? Stats have proven that openers in ODIs score the most 100s. Anyway you look at it, Sachin is, at best, on par with the other 3. Anything said to the contrary is simply fantasy and hero worship.Every player has their weak point somewhere and that is why there has never been another Bradman. Enjoy them for what they are guys: 4 greats of our generation. Kallis allrounder? Only Sobers statistically

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 19:27 GMT)

Those who are putting numbers to undermine Jack Kallis, please exclude the numbers upto 1998. Then see his avg. in that 14 years, he had 50+ avg in 9 out of 14 yrs. For his away performance, his performance is awful in Bangladesh. But he is still one of the greatest of all time.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

Well looks like after the Don the best is Sachin followed by Kallis and no one is a disatant fourth.....

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 13, 2012, 17:19 GMT)

Arguments like Tendulkar played on flat pitches, played for records and played more matches are absurd. Looking at stats the difference between his average away from home and at home is the least. His average away from home is a solid 7 runs better than Ponting and Lara. The real test is for a batsman to succeed on conditions foreign to him. While Tendulkar was scoring centuries in England and Australia at the age of 17, Ponting and Lara were struggling in India(the so called batting paradises). Ponting averages 23 in India while Lara never scored a century. Tendulkar has 20 scores above 150 and scored against the best.

Posted by csowmi7 on (April 13, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

Talking from a pure batting point of view Tendulkar>Lara>>Ponting>Kallis. This is because Tendulkar has got an excellent record in testing conditions like England and Australia and played in an era dominated by bowlers. Imagine a 17 year old boy scoring centuries against the best in the business. Tendulkar is the only batsman to be invited by the legendary Bradman and who himself admitted that he was the best batsman in the world narrowly better than Lara. Lara likewise dominated in an era of great bowlers but never scored a century in India. Ponting also has a miserable record in India averaging 23(largely inflated due to the batting paradise in Bangalore). He even went one entire series with an aggregate of 5 runs. If India is so flat please tell me why these two greats struggled. Kallis is no doubt the best all rounder but lacks the aggression to be associated in the top 3.

Posted by TheMehssiah on (April 13, 2012, 15:59 GMT)

@ Vimalan Sadhasivam, did you consider that Jacques Kallis might not have scored so heavily in the '90s because he was bowling a full quota at the time?

The real reason why Kallis isn't considered alongside Lara / Tendulkar / Ponting is because he simply doesn't play with the same flair as those three. As an Englishman who'd much rather watch a Michael Vaughan cover drive than watch the far more effective Alastair Cook grind out an innings, I understand this well. However, Kallis is absolutely an all-time great of the game, and should be considered as such.

Posted by DustBowl on (April 13, 2012, 15:33 GMT)

How about an article on bowlers? Initial thoughts: Dennis Lillee did not do well in the sub continent, and Warne at least initially, but Imran Khan did, and McGrath too?

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 14:22 GMT)

PPl always diminishing Kallis, but frankly statistics can always be presented to make whatever case you want. everyone plays against "lesser" teams, and for some reason success vs them is seen as a weakness in ones' CV, if you turn it around one might say then that failure against a lesser team is doubly a failure and greater indictment on a career. Fact: Kallis is a great player, every much as good as Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar. And the greatest all-rounder in the professional era. To try and dismiss or "prove" that otherwise would be silly and I think an opinion not shared by anyone who has played with or against him. Stop hating!

Posted by subbuamdavadi on (April 13, 2012, 14:00 GMT)

To everyone presenting statistics to prove or disprove who is the better batsman (not cricketer), my request is for you to Enjoy the Game. Cricketers such as Sachin, Kallis, Ponting appear once in a blue moon, and now that they are nearing the end of their careers, enjoy their sublime skills...for as long as you can. I am sure, they never bother about whether they are better than each other; so why do we?

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

@kallis_01: sachin has played just 7 test matches against bangladesh in bangladesh... he has an average of 136 against them.. if u think that for the 7 tests, his average inflates then good luck to you. By the way, in my belief, the putches in south africa can be comoared to the pitches in australia, But if you want to compare the pitches from india to the pitches in south africa or austrlia, good luck to you again.

Posted by pinhead9810 on (April 13, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

According to "statsguru," Tendulkar's average away from India, excluding Zimbabwe and Bangladesh is 52.00. If we look at Kallis's average with the same criteria, he averages 48.63. Tendulkar's average away from the subcontinent (also excluding Zimbabwe) is 50.90. Kallis away from home (South Africa) and not including the subcontinent averages 44.91 (excluding Zimbabwe). If there are any doubts do use the excellent feature provided by espncricinfo. This is a reply to @kallis_01 comments.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

@kallis_01 CHECK SACHIN AWAY SERIES RECORD AGST AUSTRALIA IN AUSTRALIA YOU WILL GET UR ANSWER

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 13:25 GMT)

@Kallis_01...you do know that kallis averages 79.25 against the Bangladesh right? Why do people disregard the subcontinent? "Legends" such as Ponting suck over here and you guys fail to notice that...@MrGarreth by only 0.01, look at the centuries and big scores made by sachin..

Posted by Criketanand on (April 13, 2012, 13:19 GMT)

kallis_01 subcontinent scores for tendulkar are definitely better than subcontinent flat picth scores of ponting/lara etc. so dont u worry about that. he is still better whether he plays in subcontinent against australian or any other bowlers weak or strong than ponting in india against weak indian bowlers :D

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

@kallis_01, on the same token, check out how much Kallis has scored in Bangladesh and flat pitches in India to see his inflated average. Btw, its generally considered that 1990's was far tougher for batsmen compared to 2000s and only three batsmen averaged over 50 in 1990s i.e. Sachin, Lara and Steve Waugh. That's why Kallis will never be considered alongside these greats even though he has mountains of runs.

Posted by Avidcricketlover on (April 13, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

If we take the numbers of an All-rounder, Kallis will rank as the greatest one to have walked this planet along with Sobers. Both are the only two men who are equally adept at both the skills. Kallis is a legend in his own right as the greatest all-rounder and among one of the best batsman. But Sachin, Lara and Ponting are legends too.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 12:49 GMT)

@ Haron Ismail and MrGarreth Taking the quality of opposition into account,Kallis away record wud disappoint you a wee bit. Against the overwhelmingly dominant team of this era- Australia, Kallis's away average is 45.75 against Sachin's 53.20. Sachin mainly scored these runs against an attack which boasted of McGrath, Lee, Warne,Gillespie and Fleming. In England Kallis averages a mere 29.30 against Sachin's 54.31. What really boosts Kallis's away numbers are the runs he scored against Z'bwbe where he averages a mind boggling 503-3 centuries in 3 tests and his performances against Pakistan, New zealand and India, all good teams but not top class.In contrast Sachin averages 46.44 against SA in SA which has always had one of the best fast bowling attacks in the world & 67.94 against Lanka (best spin attack with Murali) while Kallis averages just 35.33. Taking consistency and quality into account it's clear who the Master is. Kallis definitely is a modern great but not an all time great.

Posted by Avidcricketlover on (April 13, 2012, 12:45 GMT)

@Kallis_01 : Removed Bangladesh and Zimbabwe from the list. Ponting, Kallis and Lara doesn't even average 50. While the best are AB de villiers, Graeme Smith and then comes Sachin of the present playing lot. So, that's a weak argument (http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;opposition=6;opposition=7;opposition=8;orderby=runs;template=results;type=batting).

Let's remove the sub-continent entirely ( no Pak, Ind, Bang, SL) : Kallis and Lara doesn't touch 50 in average even now !!!. Ponting and Sachin ( yes, that little guy) are averaging above 50 (http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;home_or_away=2;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=5;orderby=runs;template=results;type=batting).

Give that little guy some respect. I just stated facts. I just love this game. Lara, Ponting and Kallis are Legends too

Posted by AcFinor on (April 13, 2012, 12:42 GMT)

@ Haron Ismail, @kallis_01 - Take out the weaklings Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Kallis' away average - 50.75 (HS - 173). Sachin away - 52 (HS - 241*). It took Kallis 143 tests to get his first double hundred! Hardly impressive. Both of his doubles came at home, that too against relatively weak attacks - India(never had a truly great bowler) and Lanka(no Murali or Vaas). Now check the performances against the best- Australia(for most part of the careers of Kallis and Sachin). Kallis' average - 39.13(HS -114). Sachin - 57.30(HS - 241*). Batting in England isn't easy because of the swinging conditions. Sachin averages a stunning 54.31 there! Kaliis only 29.30!! Also, Kallis never had to face greats like Donald, Pollock and Steyn. And Sachin never got to face India's mediocre attack! Based on the above stats, and with due respect to Kallis, I think Sachin is simply better. Gentlemen, try to be truly impartial(it's a request) and tell me what you think.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 12:31 GMT)

@Haron - Sachin Tendulkar has so far scored 8705 runs in 106 Test matches outside India. In home Tests Ricky Ponting leads the way, with 7546 runs from 89 matches, ahead of Tendulkar (6765) and Jacques Kallis (6738), who have both played 82 Tests on home soil. After the second Test against England Mahela Jayawardene was fourth with 6646 runs in 72 Tests in Sri Lanka.

Sachin has scored 820 runs in 9 innings against Bangladesh.So even if you deduct 820 he has still scored 7885 away runs. So your idiotic thought has been disproved.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

Kallis01, Tendulkers avg against australia in australia is 53.20 and against England in England is 54.31, against Shrilanka is 67.94. His worst away avg is in Zimbabwe 40.0. He do have a high avg against Bangladesh 136.66. But even if you include his away in BD runs, he still has an avg of 51.54. not too shabby.

this will help: http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/player/35320.html?class=1;template=results;type=batting

I am a Bangladeshi, and apart from my Country players Jack Kallis is my favorite player.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 12:13 GMT)

@haron Ismail there are just thing more than stats that make tendulkar greater than kallis(no disrespect to kallis ,he is a legend in his own right) but harbhajan singh is in that list ,LOL!! nothing major to comment on that i think best away batsman list should have been there

Posted by goofy7 on (April 13, 2012, 11:54 GMT)

Where is the Wall Dravid!!!!!!

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 11:41 GMT)

@Kallis_01: plz go and check out two pages for me... 1)http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/1/1933/t_Batting_by_Opponent.html 2)http://cricketarchive.com/Archive/Players/2/2231/t_Batting_by_Opponent.html and compare the stats against Australia and England for both of them. plus kallis's odi SR is 72.97 (T'kar 86.23).... Sachin was criticized even called SELFISH by people and cricinfo journalist Mukul Kesavan for his SR 77 against Ban for his 100th 100, shows the pressure and expectations from fan as well as critics!. Again kallis is "greatest all-rounder" I have seen in my life( I am 21), but leave "greatest batsman " debate for Sachin and Lara for this generation. cricinfo plz publish

Posted by SachinIsTheGreatest on (April 13, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

kallis_01, it probably does but then Mr.Rajesh also says "Sachin Tendulkar's averages in Australia and England are the stand-out ones among his overseas numbers.". Also looking at 100s, Tendulkar has 22 at home, 4 in BD but that still means he has 25 against all other teams including I think 6 each in Aus and England.

Before we turn this into a flame war Kallis' all-round performances will never ever be matched and that puts him on par if not above Sir Garfield as the Greatest.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 11:26 GMT)

Indian batsmaen are the worst away IMO..Sangakkara`s record is amzing given the fact that he get so little chance to play out side..Ricky Ponting too is poor out side home

Posted by Test-Fan on (April 13, 2012, 11:21 GMT)

Why kallis is not better than Sachin is clear if you see Kallis's record against any team which has couple of good bowlers. Against England in England Kallis's average is 29 and in SA it is 42. Look at sachin's far better 54 and 56 resp. Against Australia in Australia Kallis's average is 45 and in SA it is 39. Look at sachin's far better 53 and 57. Same can be seen against Srilanka where they had Chaminda and Murali. Lowest average (40) that Sachin has is against Pakistan where he went first time as 16 years old kid and played againt Imran,Wasim,Waqar and Abdul kadir. Sachin never averaged less than 40 in all the conditions where rest of all in the same era have below 40 against few. Great Lara averages 33 and 36 in india and new Zealand resp. Ponting averages pathetic 26 in india. Ponting's average against England in England is just 41. So Sachin is best in this era of last 20 years. Cannot compare two diff eras.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 11:14 GMT)

At S. Jagernath. Scoring the fourth highest individual test innings, centuries in finals and high pressure situations, etc. Those are the reasons why he has the respect of most. :P Of course, we can say that Mahela might be a class below players like Tendulkar, Ponting, Kallis and Lara, but world class does not neccesarily mean only those players can be considered so. Also, why draw the line at 40? Why not 45? It sounds very pedantic. In the end, away averages does show a batsman's consistency, but does not show the conditions in which an innings was made. When looking at statistics and comparing them to the impact of a player, we shoud always bear that in mind.

Posted by muski on (April 13, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

Rajesh- Why is Dravid not figuring in this list on comparision of home and away averages. Would be great to see his and i presume he will be only bloke whose away avg is better than his home average.

Posted by coolnewguy on (April 13, 2012, 11:09 GMT)

Sachin has played 7 tests against Bangladesh Kallis 6 and Ponting 4. So that is not the only reason for Sachin having a good away average.

Posted by muski on (April 13, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

@Kallis-Go and fly a kite man. Go to Records section in cricinfo and list out all the matches played by SRT against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. The answer will be there for you to see. Fantastic analysis on home and away by Rajesh. For all the blokes who label SRT as a FTB, with this analysis hope the debate is dead and buried. Hail Mahela the Lord among the FTB's. It was something we all knew- isnt it.

Posted by thatscricket on (April 13, 2012, 11:03 GMT)

I would like to point out to the kallis chamcha kallis-01 the line form the article'Sachin Tendulkar's averages in Australia and England are the stand-out ones among his overseas numbers' Secondly it would be nice to see how tendulkar has (out)performed kallis in AUS especially againt the likes of McGrath and Warne and Co. and not the current trimmed Aus side. And yes Tendulkar may ahve played a few Tests against B'desh but so has Kallis. And more importantly Kallis has never played against the likes of Donald, Pollock, Steyn, Ntini etc so which means a whole good bunch of bowlers not faced. Even our whimsical Sreesant bounced him out in last year's Test. heheh can't imagnine what Donald and Co would ahve done him

Posted by kallis_01 on (April 13, 2012, 10:22 GMT)

i'd like to know how many of Tendulkar's runs away from home have been scored in the subcontinent on flat pitches against week opposition like Bangladesh. this definately infalets his way average.

Posted by   on (April 13, 2012, 9:40 GMT)

@m_rbhat - But Kallis is better than all three home and away and tendulkar is the worst of the four at home and second best away after the King Kallis.Now use the facts above to disprove this!!!

Posted by MrGarreth on (April 13, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

Kallis has the 2nd highest away average behind only Bradman. Incredible.

Posted by S.Jagernath on (April 13, 2012, 8:46 GMT)

Why is Mahela Jayawardene offerred any respect?He hasn't done anything important enough to deserve any.Can he really be regarded world class when he does not average 40 away from home?A world class batsmen should average at least 40 overseas.An away average of 38 might even be achieved by a batsmen of Suresh Raina's quality.Batsmen with better away averages deserve a lot more respect,especially when they bat at the top of the order.

Posted by i_witnessed_2011 on (April 13, 2012, 8:40 GMT)

Tendulkar's home and away performance is really amazing... This is shown in the difference column. Even Lara and Ponting can not match him there. Ponting is more comfortable at home than in sub continent. Lara played well in most conditions. Especially considering the quality of bowling attck that India and other major test playing nations produce, Sachin always have to play against good bowling and under pressure.

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

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