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Best modern day batsman statistically.

International Tests
by biltongbek (U14044738) 11 October 2010
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Having just witnessed Tendulkarís 49th ton, I thought perhaps it would be interesting to see statistically who is the best modern day batsmen. My qualifying criteria is 5000 runs and an average above 50.

Now this is statistically, I will leave the subjective debate as to conditions, continents, opposing bolwers etc to you.

What I have done was to use career statistics for all the batsmen who qualify and was still playing in the 90ís up to present day, if I missed someone I profusely apologise.

There were 15 batsmen who qualified and they were, Tendulkar, Ponting, Dravid, Kallis, Lara, Smith, Waugh, Border, Sanagakarra, Jayawardena, Sehwag, Miandad, Y Kahn,M Yousuf and Hayden.

I decided to score points to each batsman according to a ranking list in 8 areas.

1.Runs scored Ė The reasoning here is no matter how many innings you played, the longevity of a career is proven by your runs scored.
2.Runs per innings, not average, as averages can be blown up by big not out innings.
3.Your actual average.
4.Strike rate.
5.How many innings it takes to score fifties and hundreds.
6.Conversion rate, in other words how many fifties are turned into centuries
7.Percentage not out innings, as the batsman could be left stranded and has not played until his dismissal.
8. Home vs away average.

I have scored the categories with the best getting 15 points and going down to 1 point for the lowest.

I would love to put out all the statistics, but there simply isnít enough space, so I will provide the top 3 in each category just to show who scored the most points in each category.

Runs scored
Tendulkar 15 points.
Ponting 14 points.
Dravid 13 points.

Runs per innings.
Sangakarra 15 points
Sehwag 14 points.
Lara 13 points.

Actual batting average.
Sangakarra 15 points
Tendulkar 14 points
Kallis 13 points.

Strike rate.
Sehwag 15 points
Lara 14 points
Hayden 13 points.

Innings to score 50 plus.
Tendulkar 15 points.
Ponting 14 points
Kallis 13 points.

Conversion rate fifties to centuries.
Hayden 15 points.
Sehwag 14 points.
Tendulkar 13 points.

Percentage not out innings.
Waugh 15 points.
Border 14 points
Kallis 13 points.

Home vs away average.
Border 15 points.
Waugh 14 points.
Smith 13 points.

Here are the results after adding all the points for each of the seven criteria.
Tendulkar 98 points.
Ponting 85 points.
Sangakarra 78 points.
Kallis 75 points.
Sehwag 72 points.
Lara 71 points.
Jayawardena 64 points.
Dravid 62 points.
Smith 59 points.
Waugh 56 points.
Hayden 55 points.
M Yousuf 53 points.
Border 46 points.
Miandad 44 points.
Y Kahn 42 points.

I have taken in consideration all the possible angles of measuring statistics, if there are any practical ideas of additional comparisons I can make it part of the calculations, but this took quite a while to compile.
To me the result is clear, statistically these are the best batsmen in the modern era.
You are welcome to dispute it.

Latest 10 comments

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posted Oct 12, 2010

redcgull, thanks mate.

Yes i agree with you that stats can't tell all.

The reality is stats only provides a clinical laboratory style analysis.

The problem though is to go into more analysis without being subjective you need to analyse each innings, where it was played, conditions, opposing bowlers etc.

That s unfortunately too big a task for a bloke from the street who still has to put 8 hours work in daily.

Also as you say, perspective and opinion will be clouded as we all have our own memories of special innings our favorites played.

The categories I used was to try and encompass as many different variables that make up the game of cricket.

Yes admittedly some could be negated as unneccesary, yet if they weren't used, you would then have someone that is a Sehwag fan say that strike rate is important.

So it is rather difficult to use categories everyone would be happy with.

Overall I just wanted to achieve a medium where no one could say I am favoring a particular player.

The rest is then perspective, opinion and subjective reasoning.

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posted Oct 12, 2010

Ok Biltonbek..We cant disagree that at the end of the day its Bowlers who win Test matches..on the England scene i reckon they will score enough to give the bowlers a target ; big question is will they be strong enough to bowl those Aussies out.Personally I have serious doubts on that score.. What do you think and what do the stats predict?

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posted Oct 12, 2010


Firstly I believe Swann is key. He has to fire to get 20 wickets.

I am not sure conditions will help Anderson, but I think he is experienced enough to make it work.

I can't say I am crasy about broad, but then again it may just be his attitude I don't like. He either fires and takes nothing or he takes a four or five wicket haul.

Finn I haven't seen enough of to comment.

The only thing I can relate to is that if they struggled to bowl SA out in three tests, I don't know how they will fare down under.

Australia may not have brilliant bowlers, but collectively they might just work better than the English bowlers.

I can of course be totally wrong, you need one good start and it can all snowball.

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posted Oct 12, 2010

He either fires and takes nothing or he takes a four or five wicket haul.


I'd rather have this than a steady Eddie type though...

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posted Oct 12, 2010

"random, I am merely presenting stats, how is that subjective?"

You're subjectively deciding what stats constitute "great".

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posted Oct 12, 2010

random, the criteria I used are the stats being thrown about during every test match you watch. I didn't subjectively decide, I took what is generally branded about.

Instead of criticising, why don't you provide me with your expert opinion as to which criteria should be used, and then do the comparison yourself.

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posted Oct 12, 2010

And you in turn are subjectively deciding that he is subjectively deciding what stats constitute "great".

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posted Oct 13, 2010

I wonder where Andy Flower would come on your list. He was only just shy of 5000 runs, but still had an incredible record.

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comment by Ricwolf (U7020494)

posted Oct 13, 2010

biltongbek - the stats shown on tv also include favourite band and tv programme perhaps you should restrict your statistics based on these categories and find out who is the best batsman who prefer Snow Patrol and Neighbours. Its just as conclusive as your criteria!!

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posted Oct 13, 2010

Ricwolf, I was leaning more towards bald spots and the wear and tear of their caps.

It stands to reason if your cap is faded you spent a lot of time on the cricket pitch, but then again you don't wear it whilst you are batting.

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