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

Dominating a top bowler

Kevin Pietersen took 64 runs off 72 balls from Dale Steyn, which is the most dominant performance against him in a Test innings

S Rajesh

August 10, 2012

Comments: 50 | Text size: A | A

Dale Steyn holds his head in his hands, England v South Africa, 1st Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day, July 19, 2012
Dale Steyn wasn't used to the treatment that was meted out to him at Headingley © Getty Images

Kevin Pietersen has since been in the news for off-field reasons, but on the third day of the Headingley Test, he made the headlines for all the right reasons. The whole innings was outstanding for his aggression and sheer brutality, but especially fearsome was his assault on Dale Steyn, unarguably the best bowler going around in Test cricket today. In 72 balls from Steyn, Pietersen clobbered 64 runs, including 12 fours and a six. Pietersen struck 22 fours in his entire innings of 149, which means more than 50% of the fours were scored off the best bowler in the opposition attack.

In fact, 64 runs is the highest that Steyn has ever conceded to a batsman in a single innings, and only the third time that a batsman has taken him for more than 50. The two previous instances were in the same match - one that South Africa will want to forget forever: at the SSC in 2006, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene came together at 14 for 2 and were separated only when the scored reached 638. Over the course of their world-record partnership, both batsmen scored more than 50 runs against Steyn, but that was completely understandable, as the two batsmen each topped 280, and Steyn was forced to bowl in conditions which had little in it for the fast bowlers. That was also very early in Steyn's Test career: going into that Test, he had played only six Tests, all of them at home.

The break-up of those 72 deliveries that Pietersen played was pretty interesting too: he played 51 dots and took six singles, but made the most of the remaining 15 balls. Pietersen also became the first batsman to score ten fours off Steyn in a single innings - the previous-best was Sangakkara's nine.

The assault was reminiscent of Virender Sehwag's attack on Steyn in the Chennai Test of 2008, when Sehwag scored 319 off 304 balls. On that occasion, Steyn was taken for 46 off 48 balls, but again in subcontinent conditions, and in a high-scoring match in which both teams scored in excess of 530 in their first innings. Chris Gayle scored 49 off 36 in Port Elizabeth in 2007, but that was over two innings.

Batsmen who've scored most runs v Steyn in a Test innings
Batsman Test Runs Balls Dismissal Run rate 4/ 6s
Kevin Pietersen Headingley, 2012 64 72 0 5.33 12/ 1
Kumar Sangakkara SSC, 2006 64 83 0 4.62 9/ 0
Mahela Jayawardene SSC, 2006 51 59 0 5.18 6/ 0
Virender Sehwag Chennai, 2008 46 48 0 5.75 7/ 0
Stephen Fleming Cape Town, 2006 43 81 0 3.18 6/ 0
Azhar Ali Abu Dhabi, 2010 42 60 1 4.20 6/ 0

The table above lists the instances when Steyn was dominated by an opposition batsman, but the next is a list of batsmen who played him for long periods but struggled to get him away for runs. On the top of this table is Sachin Tendulkar, whose battle with Steyn in the Cape Town Test in 2011 was one for the ages, and one of the high points of Test cricket for the year. A pumped-up Steyn bowled several unplayable balls at high speed, but Tendulkar survived them all, with technique, grit and luck: in 83 balls from Steyn in that innings, Tendulkar scored only 23, but didn't get out to him and ultimately scored 146, almost as many as Pietersen did at Headingley. In 2009 in Durban, Alastair Cook had a long battle with Steyn, but survived. He too scored a century, a matchwinning one at that.

Just a couple of Tests before the Headingley one, two New Zealand batsmen had long tussles with Steyn in Wellington, but for them survival itself was victory. Martin Guptill battled 64 balls for 14, while in New Zealand's second innings, with the team fighting hard for a draw, Kane Williamson scored a mere 5 off 60 deliveries. It was worth the effort, for Williamson scored a century and New Zealand saved the Test.

Batsmen who've been tied down by Steyn in a Test innings
Batsman Test Runs Balls Dismissal Run rate 4s/ 6s
Sachin Tendulkar Cape Town, 2011 23 83 0 1.66 3/ 0
Alastair Cook Durban, 2009 21 78 0 1.61 3/ 0
Martin Guptill Wellington, 2012 14 64 0 1.31 2/ 0
Kane Williamson Wellington, 2012 5 60 0 0.50 0/ 0
Thilan Samaraweera Durban, 2011 10 56 0 1.07 1/ 0

So how do Steyn's worst days compare with the worst ones of the other top bowlers over the last decade? Here's a comparison with three other top bowlers, since July 2001 (that's the period for which ESPNcricinfo has complete ball-by-ball coverage). In these 11 years, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath are the three bowlers who've taken 200-plus wickets at averages comparable to (in a couple of cases, better than) Steyn's average, so here's a look at the batsmen who did best against them in a single innings.

There were seven batsmen who scored more than 70 in a single innings against Murali, which is understandable given that he was a spinner who bowled such a huge percentage of Sri Lanka's overs, and also because their bowling attack wasn't particularly strong excluding him, which meant teams could make sizeable totals against them. Younis Khan scored 111 off him alone in his triple-hundred in the Karachi Test in Sri Lanka's ill-fated tour to Pakistan in 2009. Brian Lara's heroics in the 2001 series means he features twice - for performances in each innings of the SSC Test, in which Lara made 221 and 130, and Murali returned match figures of 3 for 231 in 73 overs. Sehwag's effort in Mumbai stands out for its scoring rate - he knocked off 83 from 77 on the way to his 293.#

The stand-out effort against Warne came from an unlikely quarter - Bangladesh's Shahriar Nafees hammered him for 67 from 56 during his 189-ball 138 in a thrilling Test in Fatullah. Pietersen features twice, for his efforts at the two Ovals, in London and Adelaide, while Mark Ramprakash is in there too for his efforts against Warne during his century at The Oval in 2001.

It's noticeable that batsmen have dominated to a much lesser degree against McGrath during the period in question. Michael Vaughan's 50 off 87 during his sumptuous knock of 177 in Adelaide is the most scored by a batsman against him in an innings. Pietersen had a small spell of dominance against him, scoring 32 off 28 in Adelaide in 2006, but no batsman was able to sustain that sort of attack against him for a longer period.

Among the more recent bowlers, England's James Anderson was at the receiving end too in the ongoing series against South Africa: he conceded 73 off 115 balls to Hashim Amla in The Oval Test, the most that any batsman has scored against him in an innings. Anil Kumble's worst during this period was when Younis scored 87 off 161 in 2005 in Bangalore, while Zaheer Khan leaked 66 off 86 to Michael Clarke in Sydney earlier this year. Makhaya Ntini, the second-highest wicket-taker in these 11 years, was hammered for 76 off 57 by Sehwag during that triple-century in Chennai in 2008.

Most runs scored by a batsman v Murali in a Test innings since Jul 2001
Batsman Test Runs Balls Dismissals Run rate 4s/ 6s
Younis Khan Karachi, 2009 111 187 0 3.56 11/ 2
Stephen Fleming PSS, 2003 95 185 0 3.08 10/ 1
Brian Lara SSC, 2001 90 135 0 4.00 10/ 1
Virender Sehwag Mumbai, 2009 83 77 1 6.46 11/ 2
Damien Martyn Kandy, 2004 75 143 1 3.14 10/ 1
Brian Lara SSC, 2001 74 105 0 4.22 10/ 0
Darren Lehmann SSC, 2004 72 105 1 4.11 8/ 2
Most runs scored by a batsman v Warne in a Test innings since Jul 2001
Batsman Test Runs Balls Dismissals Run rate 4s/ 6s
Shahriar Nafees Fatullah, 2006 67 56 0 7.17 10/ 0
Paul Collingwood Adelaide, 2006 65 104 0 3.75 6/ 0
Kevin Pietersen The Oval, 2005 62 90 0 4.13 3/ 4
Mohammad Yousuf Melbourne, 2004 59 82 1 4.31 4/ 3
Kevin Pietersen Adelaide, 2006 59 106 0 3.33 6/ 1
Mark Ramprakash The Oval, 2001 53 77 0 4.12 8/ 0
Virender Sehwag Chennai, 2004 56 60 1 5.30 7/ 0
Most runs scored by a batsman v McGrath in a Test innings since Jul 2001
Batsman Test Runs Balls Dismissal Run rate 4s/ 6s
Michael Vaughan Adelaide, 2002 50 87 0 3.44 7/ 0
Mark Butcher Headingley, 2001 46 70 0 3.94 6/ 0
Brian Lara Adelaide, 2005 44 74 1 3.56 2/ 0
Nathan Astle Perth, 2001 40 64 0 3.75 8/ 0
Nathan Astle Christchurch, 2005 40 62 1 3.87 7/ 0

And finally, here's a look at the most runs scored by a batsman against any bowler in a Test innings during the last 11 years. On top of the pile is Chris Gayle, who hammered Suraj Randiv for 143 runs from 154 balls during his triple-hundred in Galle in 2010. Randiv is the only bowler to twice concede 100 or more runs to a batsman in an innings during this period - he also gave away 105 to Tendulkar at the SSC in 2010. All seven bowlers in the table below are spinners, while six of the seven innings were in the subcontinent.

Also worthy of mention:

  • Lara scored 98 from 91 off Ray Price in Bulawayo in 2003
  • Sehwag took Saqlain Mushtaq for 91 off 80 in Multan in 2004
  • Astle blasted 90 from 60 off Matthew Hoggard in Christchurch in 2002

Most runs scored by a batsman v a bowler in a Test innings since Jul 2001
Batsman Bowler Test Runs Balls Run rate 4s/ 6s
Chris Gayle Suraj Randiv Galle, 2010 143 154 5.57 15/ 6
Brian Lara Gareth Batty Antigua, 2004 130 161 4.84 14/ 3
Mahela Jayawardene Nicky Boje SSC, 2006 125 221 3.39 15/ 0
Younis Khan Muttiah Muralitharan Karachi, 2009 111 187 3.56 11/ 2
Inzamam-ul-Haq Daniel Vettori Lahore, 2002 109 114 5.73 10/ 4
Sachin Tendulkar Suraj Randiv SSC, 2010 105 153 4.11 13/ 1
Virender Sehwag Paul Harris Chennai, 2008 100 108 5.55 13/ 1

# 06:50 GMT, Aug 10: It was earlier mentioned that Sehwag had scored a triple-century.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by satwik189 on (August 12, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

This is for some people who don't understand Cricket. For those who feel Lara's 400 was selfish Guys I have been reading a lot of posts saying Lara's 400 was a selfish innings. I would like to ask all if 400 was selfish then what was Sachin's 241* against Australia? Both declared on the 3rd day. India batted 188 overs and West Indies 202 overs...India's run rate was 3.76 and West Indies's 3.71. Sachin's Strike rate was 55 and Lara's 68. Still West Indies managed to enforce a follow on and take 5 wickets in the 2nd innings and India could take 6 wickets in the 2nd innings. So if Lara is selfish Sachin is double selfish

Posted by ian_ghose on (August 12, 2012, 9:47 GMT)

Every Tendulkar apologist knows than Tendulkar can only dream of playing the kind of innings that Pietersen has played. Enough said...

Posted by alonsoe on (August 12, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Sachin is not the best ODI batsman to play the game . That goes to Viv. Since you all love so much stats you should know that Viv has a higher average and strike rate. If you claim his average is higher because he played in the "slow scoring ODI era" then explain his strike rate. This is even higher than Sachin, although the latter played in the "batsmen friendly field restriction to increase scoring rate era." Viv could have had double the ODI centuries he did as he not, as captain, dropped himself down the batting order in a high percentage of his ODIs although he was clearly the best bat on the team. And yes in the ODI game Viv was a better bowler and fielder. Look up the stats. Sachin at best is second in Test behind Sir Don and second in ODI behind Sir Viv.

Posted by BoonBoom on (August 12, 2012, 7:06 GMT)

Guys, here the main discussion is not to compare Lara and Tendulkar. The focus is to realize and highlight SRT being uncomfortable against classis pace attack. Yes he has scored runs against all sort of bowlers in all sort of conditions but there is no iota of doubt that he usually lacks against top class pace attack. His big scores are mostly against low quality attacks and his 200 not out is just one of such countless examples. Can someone please highlight his last year performance against England and Australia where India lost 8 test matches in a row and SRT failed to produce even one innings of any authority. Just few week later facing mediocre bowling he again scored heavily and scored his 100 century which yet again proves my point of view. The truth is that SRT is an average players and his records are basically due to huge numbers of matches he has played.

Posted by sysubrceq0 on (August 11, 2012, 18:23 GMT)

@johnathonjosephs - thanks "batmanrobin" , i wanted to tell the same... please provide match winning knocks.... not the boring draw innings. In ODI's match winning performance will be calculated using MOM's got but not with 100's won the match. Tendulkar has more than 80+ scores and more than 50% of those in match winning knock, WC 2011 semifinal, 2003 WC ind vs Pak are some examples.. please provide maych winning stats of Lara than match drawing performances.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

@ johnathonjosephs YOU ARE WRONG. Lara played and got his runs and high scores on the FLAT ANTIGUA PITCH + HIGH SCORING DRAWS like Sydny 277. You know nothing about Lara's failures. Lara was the most inconsistent of the top 10 rungetters. he averages in early 50s because of that not because of pitches. ZERO TONS VS WASIM WAQAR DONALD POLLOCK.

Posted by   on (August 11, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

@BoonBoom : Lara is nothing but a medium pace & spin basher. He goes into hiding when facing top class pace. McGrath made him his bunny in 1990s getting him 17 times !! Donald openly said he has NO RESPECT for Lara for the cowardly way he played against him in 1998. Until 2002, Lara had 18 hundreds.. Sachin 30. Then when all great pacers were on decline he increased his stats against South Africa and Pakistan and later became famous because of Selfish batting in a boring dead pitch 400* against hapless poor England bowling. He is over glorified because of Sachin's injuries from 2003-2006. Dont forget Sachin has 27 scores in 90s... Most of them in wins. So dont cite stupid stats on 100s alone. Sacjin in 1990s never had great bowler in his team, atleast Lara had Ambrose and Walsh.. Dont discont ODI cricket. All this talk of test cricket has only recently started..in 1990s, India didnt play that many tests meaning Sachin's peak years were lost.. Greats never retire.. Mohd Ali never did...

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 11, 2012, 15:22 GMT)

@ johnathonjosephs- I guess the stats required were for the statement - ""Lara won so many matches than Tendulkar" and i have already posted clear stats of how Sachin outdoes Lara in every single department. Lara's triple century, 400 did not win WI their matches. If that being the case, Sachin has a ODI 200 and Lara doesnt. And if u want more abt %s, 20 out of Sachin's 51 test centuries came in wins - 20/51 = 39.21% and Lara's 8/34 - 23.52% n 39 definitely greater than 23 i guess. And if batting in India highway is so easy-

Lara in tests in India - 3(P) 198 ( runs) 33 ( ave) and no centuries Lara in ODis in India - 31(P) 985 ( runs) 35 ( ave) and not a single century.

Posted by AK_25 on (August 11, 2012, 12:44 GMT)

wheather u love or hate SRT......people always talk abt him....see whats the article abt and who u r talking abt (most of u).....

Posted by warneneverchuck on (August 11, 2012, 9:10 GMT)

y sachin is best simply bcoz he has maintained same consistenacy over 20 years whcih no body ever has done. Many players have done well for short period but cant say had they played for 20 years, they would have been able to maintain same class that long against various kind of bowlers in different era which only sachin has done. for eg. hussy was averaging nearly 70 for initial 30 matches but it has now gone down drastically. hats of to u sir form a aussie fan.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (August 11, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Sachin is good. Lara is good. People say Don was the best.(we haven't seen him, but as the stats indicate, he is incomparable).Why all the fuss on who is the better of the two? Both are great in their own ways. But according to me,Chanders is WI's best & Rahul Dravid is India's best.These two unsung heroes batted solidly to ensure safety to their respective teams.It is not in their karma to be superstars in the mould of Lara & SRT.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 11, 2012, 6:36 GMT)

@afsar syed, there is no doubt Lara> Tendulkar. You asked for stats, then here are the stats: Lara has double the double centuries that Tendulkar did in less matches. Lara has 1 triple centuries and 1 quadruple century, both of them in the top 3 Highest Scores of all time. Not to mention, Lara has the first class record of 500*. When Tendulkar passed Lara's run count, it was in more innings than Lara. You talk of ODIs? No doubt Tendulkar is the best ODI batsman to grace the game, but a match winner you can not say. Tendulkar is notorious for making India lose. You want stats? Lara has 19 centuries: 16 out of the 19 have been in winning causes (84.2% win rate). Tendulkar has 49 ODI centuries and only 34 of the 49 have been in winning causes (69% win rate). I do think 84.2%>69%? Not to mention, Tendulkar played half his matches on Indian/Subcontinent Highways while Lara played most of his matches on grassy, bouncy tops

Posted by sysubrceq0 on (August 11, 2012, 3:19 GMT)

@Boonboom - I hate to hear the sentence "Lara won so many matches than Tendulkar", except the epic 153* can you provide any other match winning contributions from Lara where there is no other significant contributions from the other players. In Tests, Batsman can assure a draw when bowlers cannot take 20 wickets but Bowlers can win a match even when there is no significant contribution from batsmen. In ODI's on that day a single batsman or bowler can win match. In ODI's there is no big match player than Tendulkar if you do not agree please come back with stats. I disagree when people blame only batsmen when a test is lost.

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 11, 2012, 2:46 GMT)

@Leigh Hoffman, not really, to me it shows that it is statiscally proven Murali>Warne. Think about it this way: the last chart had most runs by a batsman against a single bowler and out of the top 7, 6 of them were in the subcontinent. What does that tell you? Half the times, yes, the subcontinent pitches are conducive to spin, but the other half they are the flattest pitches of all time and nobody can produce wickets on them. To me, showing that Murali was taken for hundreds of runs like that and STILL managed to produce more wickets/lesser economy/better average than Warne is amazing. A true legend that can't be touched

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (August 11, 2012, 2:42 GMT)

Good timing of this article. Steyn is the best Test Fast Bowler at the moment and just because he got smashed for runs by Pietersen doesn't mean he is losing his touch. Identically, Lasith Malinga is also being talked of in ODIs and he is the best ODI/T20 Fast Bowler at the moment. He also is not losing his touch. Nobody, even the great Wasim/Waqar/McGrath didn't go without having a couple bad patches here and there. Nobody is superman. Its impossible to reach the top without stumbling a couple times

Posted by Hammond on (August 11, 2012, 2:14 GMT)

@Great_Aussie- Sachin is the "Best Indian batsman of all time"- there are other batsmen between Sachin and The Don that are better than Sachin, both in statistics and in class. They just aren't Indian that's all.

Posted by thenoostar on (August 11, 2012, 1:01 GMT)

I think most people outside India feel Lara is superior to Tendulkar.

Posted by sk12 on (August 10, 2012, 21:59 GMT)

@ BoonBoom - Its long time since I started to avoid these petty arguments.. but just thought i ll join this time as its been a while now.. Frist, no one comapred Sachin with the Don. As for lara, answer this. In Lara's WI team how mnay world class batsmen were there (Shiv Chanders was a good batsman, but not really in class of Dravid). And now check how mnay matches Lara's WI team has won, and compare with how mnay matches Sachin's Indian team has won. WI's wins are much lesser, and most of those wins must obviiously be from Lara's contribution.. Contrast this with Sachin, his team had much better bowling attack and much better batsmen, so most wins of India would be due to a more all-round effort. You really cannot compare the match winnign innigs played by both, as they are part of very different teams. It does come down to the individual iinings played, the beauty of the it, conditions played in,bowlers faced. Both batsmen are very close, but I'ld maintain Sach is slightly ahead.

Posted by batmannrobin on (August 10, 2012, 21:40 GMT)

@Boomboom - Stats straight from stasguru

Sachin in test matches India won - 63(No of matches) 5594(Runs) 248*(H) 66.59(Ave) 20( 100s) Lara in test matches WI won - 32(P) 2929(R) 213(H) 61.02( Ave) 8 (100s)

Sachin in ODIs India won - 234 (P) 11157(R) 200* (H) 56.63(A) 33 (100s) Lara in ODIs WI won - 139 / 6553/ 169/ 61.82/ 16

Sachin in tournament finals - 40(P)/ 1851(R) / 138(H) / 54.44(A)/ 6 (100s) Lara in tournament finals - 19/ 507 /153 /28.16/ 1

Sachin in world cup - 45(P) 2278(R) 152(H) 56.95(A) 6 (100s) Lara in world cup 34/ 1225/ 116/ 42.24/ 2

So as we can see Sachin comfortably outdoes Lara in almost every single factor. Can you please explain this statement now - "Lara has won more matches for WI than SRT won for India'? And it was the Don himself who compared Sachin to him and not some XYZ !

Posted by BoonBoom on (August 10, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

@Shadab732 & Shiva Talwar: I dont know how long you will continue to deny the reality. No doubt SRT is a class player but certainly not a legend and not one of the best after Don. Lara has won more matches for WI than SRT won for India. SRT always played for records and his high tally of runs and centuries are primarily due to huge number of matches he has played. Just imagine if Don had played those number of matches what SRT has played...then Don would have scored 104 test centuries in 188 test matches....please STOP comparing SRT with Don....Thats an insult to Don because he is simply not comparable to anyone.. Accept the fact SRT is just an over-hyped player and nothing else. Laxman is the best player against pace India has ever produced...

Posted by pulkit10 on (August 10, 2012, 20:39 GMT)

Hardly matters. Steyn's a real quality bowler. Pietersen got the best of him that day but he was far from his best (de Villiers did something very similar in this year's IPL).

Honestly, if I had to put someone that's bowling fast right now on the all time great list, it'll be Steyn. When this guy gets into his rhythm, he's literally unplayable - he literally demolished the Indian line-up (barring Tendulkar) in India's previous tour of SA and got the best of them in sub-continental conditions (Nagpur - where SA crushed India by an innings). I could keep on blabbering about how he's an amazing bowler but you get the point.

I'd wait and watch to see if he really has been "dominated" by anyone, so far it doesn't seem that way but time will tell.

Posted by warneneverchuck on (August 10, 2012, 18:09 GMT)

Sachin tnsulkar is the best batsman after sir don . Nobody even Lara can match his class

Posted by manish79 on (August 10, 2012, 17:39 GMT)

A single inning/test statistics is not a criteria for such assumptions. A batsman's dominance against top order bowlers is measured over a period of time. Meaningless article..

Posted by nlambda on (August 10, 2012, 17:01 GMT)

One thing is clear from these comments....BoonBoom always struggle against commenting reasonably against Sachin!!! This is a fact that no one can deny.

Posted by Saffie1987 on (August 10, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

All great bowlers have their off days!!!! Even Marshall, Lillee, Mcgrath, Ambrose, Younis, Akram, Hadlee, Walsh!!!! We'll see where Steyn will end up when his carreer finishes, i'm quite certain he will end up as the greatest bowler of all time, you just wait and see!

Posted by Saffie1987 on (August 10, 2012, 16:56 GMT)

@ Udendra L/ Geeganage!!! Your cricket knowledge is obviously very flawed! Maybe you should take a look at Steyn's figures in India, and then let's see if you're still saying that Dale Steyn is an ordinary bowler in Subcontinent conditions! He struggled in Sri-Lanka, but he was still fresh back then, and in the UAE, he just came back from an injury!!

@ Billycc!!! Guys like Mcgrath, Lillee, Ambrose have been dominated quite a few times, i don't know why you're talking so much nonsense here! Steyn has been dominated in India one match versus Sewhag, in the UAE and Sr-Lanka, and in the last test match, these things happen! But on the other hand, Steyn has also taken a lot of wickets in those Countries, Especially in India, and he wasn't too bad either in Sri-Lanka, he only struggled in the UAE! You've obviously forgotten about Steyn's 7 wicket haul last match at the over, 7 wickets for the match that is, with a 5 wicket haul in the second innings on a flat pitch!!!

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

continued... shoiab akhtar once bowled sachin thru yorker since then he is average against tendulkar. only james anderson has been able to trouble him consistently. sachin is called a legend for these reasons. if u want to criticize u wl at any cost. check the stats if u dnt believe.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

@boom boom: u say SRT struggles against top bowlers... let me tell u one thing. Warne used to have nightmares of sachin. best legspinner of the universe always struggled against him. sachin used to dominate mcgrath in his own backyard. though sachin was very young n inexperienced when he used to face donald and hence donald describes him the best batsman he has bowled to. in more than 35 encounters murali has been aable to capture sachin 6-7 times only after he hammers him all over in his innings (not so against vaas though). in previous 3-4 yrs there have been enough matches btwn IND-SL to prove how comfortable sachin is against murali. we know how terrible malinga is against sachin and india. pollock, wasim, waqar etc does not present a decent record against tendulkar and he is been quite comfortable against them when players all ovr the world were reeling in front of them (that is why sachin rose to fame in 90s).

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 16:50 GMT)

@BoonBoom how many tons has BC Lara scored vs Donald,Pollock,Wasim, Waqar? Lara had a worse record against best pacers in the 90s than SRT. Infact Lara vs Aus, failed in 95,97 and 2000. only had one good series at home in 1999. see @shadab732 comment for SRT's ininngs vs Pace.

Posted by prashnottz on (August 10, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

why the kolaveri about Sehwag's batting, Rajesh?

Posted by shadab732 on (August 10, 2012, 14:39 GMT)

@BoonBoom nope i dont think so....the above stats are after july 2001...sachin had scored 169 vs south africa in 1997;155 vs south africa in 2001 against world class pace attacks.....plus he scored 155 vs aus ,177 vs aus,136 vs pak against the likes of warne,fleming,wasim,waqar and saqlain way back in 1998 and 1999....and since july 2001 i dont think sachin faced either mcgrath or warne in test matches much(he had played 2 test matches against mcgrath and 1 against warne in the 2004 aus tour of india, since 2001...that too in a period where tendulkar was suffering from injuries and loss of form)

Posted by SRao on (August 10, 2012, 14:33 GMT)

There are people that are good at their job and then there are people like Rajesh who are brilliant at theirs. What a great angle to look at things from! I loved the article. Hats off to SR! You are a magician.

Posted by Punchinello on (August 10, 2012, 14:05 GMT)

@ India_Boy... um because runs are cheaper than wickets? Maybe not all will agree, but i must say bowling is the more difficult of the two skills, considering the toll it takes physically and mentally.So, not practical to apply the yardstick in your logic. Also people remember games with results and they are more likely when the bowlers dominate. Favorable conditions for bowling exist for a lesser period than flat pitches stay flat over five days.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 12:15 GMT)

Statistical proof Warne was a better bowler than Murali

Posted by dailtire on (August 10, 2012, 12:09 GMT)

sehwag making in the list vs 3 top class bowlers with a very good run rate.it justifies why bowlers around the world dont want bowling to sehwag!

Posted by Shafaet_001 on (August 10, 2012, 11:52 GMT)

@BillyCC: Every great bowler was dominated by some batsmen in some points of their career. Teams made big scores against aus with mcgrath and warne though it was rare. Batsmen dominating steyn is rare too.

Posted by JamesTHEwalldravid on (August 10, 2012, 10:08 GMT)

@S.Jagernath while it is true that McGrath was a great bowler there's still one thing to keepin mind. The stats show the results since July 2001 and not his entire carreer. Keep in mind That lesser known players (at least today) such as Ijaz Ahmed (Pak) and Saeed Anwer (Pak) really played him well and in fact it would not be incorrect to say that they dominated him. Ijaz Really use to unsettle McGrath because he whipped his deliveries from outside off through the legside with ease and you often say McGrath grimacing and giving him a mean stare afterwards. Also many of Brian Lara's performances (before July 2001) especially his epic match winning innings of 153* against McGrath (and Warne) is NOT included. One a sidenote I'm surprised to see that VVS Laxman does not feature in the list vs McGrath. Great work by S Rajesh, but it does flatter some bowlers since it only shows the stats since July 2001.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

I watched the highlights today, Pietersen played one shot off Steyn where he came down the wicket, Dale pitched short and KP just closed the face and back foot on-drove Steyn through mid wicket for 4. Like an Under 10 shot off the best bowler in the world (sigh) it's been too long since Australia had any batsmen that were either that good or that exciting to watch.

Posted by jiturocks on (August 10, 2012, 9:02 GMT)

So much criticism of the subcontinent pitch! If any asian team not able to perform in those swing/pacy pitch, then they describe asian players are not good.But when eng/aus/sa team unable to perform in subcontinet pitch then they describe it as the pitch is not good.

Posted by BoonBoom on (August 10, 2012, 8:51 GMT)

One thing is clear from these numbers....SRT always struggle against world class pace attack!!! This is a fact that no one can deny.

Posted by India_boy on (August 10, 2012, 8:08 GMT)

@nithin....did u even watch that match ? he did nick it but the ball bounced before Boucher could catch it. Now merely nicking is not enough for a batsman to be given out, the ball has to be caught but then it would be hard to explain this to someone who just reads cricket and not watch it, must be rocket science for you!

Posted by India_boy on (August 10, 2012, 8:05 GMT)

tell me something here, if a fast bowler bowls on fast/green/swinging/pacy/bouncy pitches and takes wickets, he is considered a legend and when he goes for runs (like steyn did against sehwag in chennai and sangakkara in Colombo), a footnote is added mentioning that the inns. took place on a batting pitch, making him absolved of his poor performance. Then why the double standards against batsmen ? if they score runs in subcontinent or Centurion or Adeliade or Headingley or Abu Dhabi, they say ohh he got his runs on batting pitches but when he gets out in swinging conditions at Lord's or the bouncy/pacy ones in Perth/Sydney or Jo'Burg(wanderers), there is no footnote mentioning that he played on a bowling pitch ? why is a bowler considered great when he takes wickets on bowling pitches but batsmen ordinary when they score on batting pitches? Cricinfo please publish

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 7:27 GMT)

@Nithin Shetty the ball did not carry on that occasion. why should Tendulkar walk then? Boucher did not appeal and Kepler Wessels confirmed that in the commentary as well. Tendulkar had 2 Wrong decisions against him in 2006 in SA. remember those?

Posted by BillyCC on (August 10, 2012, 7:15 GMT)

McGrath, then daylight, then Steyn. I'm sure the analysis would show that the likes of Ambrose, Marshall, Lillee etc also were never dominated by batsman. Steyn strikes at better than all the above bowlers, so he has match winning ability, but he can also lose you a test match or make a draw easier for the opposition to achieve.

Posted by Nadeem1976 on (August 10, 2012, 6:07 GMT)

KP onslaught against the best test bowler in the world just shows us how good he is and england team will be boring without him. KP onslaught was as equally good as Viv Richards dominance. It was such an honor to watch KP in shows of Viv in that innings. That innings was his best after 2005 ashes last match batting against Shane Warne. Players like KP make test matches thrilling and interesting. Great job KP. I hope ECB understand your value and make adjustments so that fans can see onslaught to world best bowler. It's not that easy ECB. It's talent. Admit it and England need KP.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 10, 2012, 6:06 GMT)

Those statistics indicate that Steyn doesn't get a lot of sixes hit off his bowling. I'm shocked!

Posted by S.Jagernath on (August 10, 2012, 6:04 GMT)

Glenn McGrath was truly legendary,he had a long career against many high class batsmen & has never really been dominated.He probably gets closest to Malcolm Marshall.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 5:18 GMT)

I thnk Tendulkar did nick a ball to boucher in that innings at CapeTown when scored 49 and was exteremly lucky to survive it, also surprising that he did not walk as he used to, how mch tymz hve changed... :D

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 4:18 GMT)

Steyn is an ordinary bowler in Sub-continent conditions.

Posted by   on (August 10, 2012, 3:20 GMT)

Correction. Sehwag didn't score a triple in Mumbai , rather missed it.

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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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