Setting the Record Straight

by Ashish

I happened to have a bit of spare time on my hands today, and one thing led to another, and I landed up at the Cricinfo Statsguru page.

For the blissfully unaware, the Statsguru page is a treasure trove of information that is endlessly fascinating, enormously useful and sometimes, almost entirely (and still, fascinatingly!) useless.

I had no purpose in mind when I landed on the page, but one thing led to another, and I landed up here.

Which, with the kind help of MS Excel, led to this (preliminary) chart. Conversions are simply 100’s/50’s – so the higher the number, the more impressive the statistic.

Which tells us what most of us knew already – that Sachin is up and away on his own, Lara and Ponting are currently neck and neck, and Dravid is in a bit of a slump, much like Sachin was back in ’06.

But still, I come from an analyst background, and it is my duty to make charts that tell stories that are self-obvious. I can’t help it.

So I went ahead and did one more.

Again, the story doesn’t really change – the only surprising thing to me is Dravid’s conversion rate. I was always under the impression that his would be the highest. Certainly, the impression over the years has been that Dravid, once in, will stay in. Perhaps the last couple of years explain the slide, I don’t know.

These four batsman were chosen because they probably would, by consensus, be the four best batsmen of the modern era. Steve Waugh and Kallis might have something to say about that, along with a couple of other worthies, but these guys have the highest run aggregate, so they remain in there.

But choose whomsoever you will. There was, there is, and there forever will be, only one Donald Bradman. The previous chart, with one King Kong size addition puts things in perspective.


There was a poll conducted in Australia recently, in which 84% of the respondents said that Sachin was better than the Don. Now,  Sachin is the world’s best batsman at the moment, and good luck trying to convince me otherwise.

The best batsman ever? Not yet, not yet.