Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The numbers game

I am not really a numbers person.Numbers are often misleading and tell us the incomplete story.However,if used properly number can be useful as well.I recently read an article where a group of analysts figured out a way to calculate significant innings played by any batsmen.They made sure,that innings such as Ranatunga's 86 in SL's total of 952,weren't counted while Len Hutton's 30* in his team's total of 52 all out is counted in.After applying around five conditions,they have compiled the data and having read it,I have to say it seems accurate and apt.Sir Don Bradman is at the top being only person to have more than half his innings being significant.Among the contemporaries,Shivnaire Chanderpaul is at number 4.It is quiet a surprise to many because he has done his job over the years without creating much fuss and has lived in the shadow of Brian Lara and now Chris Gayle.Almost 47% of his innings are significant,showing what a unsung hero he has been over the years.
Brian Lara and Rahul Dravid follow closely at 7th and 8th spot respectively.These two legends of the game,are two of the only four players to have more than 100 significant innings for their country.It again shows how crucial they have been to their respective teams.Dravid is top Indian on the list and one more reason to believe he is India's best test batsmen.Andy Flower also makes it to 10th place,though it is partly because his team Zimbabwe hasn't had a great batting line-up.Javed Miandad at 19th is best placed player from Pakistan.I was a little surprised here,because I expected Inzamam-ul-Haq to be among the top 20 as well.Apart from Inzamam,three more contemporaries missed the top 20.Sachin Tendulkar from India with Significant Innings%(SI%) of 38.Jacques Kallis just missed the list with SI% being 41.Australia's legendary captain Steven Waugh was at 35%.
Another table compared number of innings rather than % of SI.This table was headed by Rahul Dravid with 108 SI.Lara followed closely with 106.Allan Border and Sachin Tendulkar had 103 each.All of the above four have significantly contributed for the country over a 100 times,which is mind-boggling.Chanderpaul with 98 SI and Kallis with 94 SI should join the 100 club soon I believe.

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