I've been sitting here thinking about a way to measure how good a batsman was during the peak of their career.
A perfect example is IVA Richards- his test batting average of 50.23 (despite being an excellent figure in itself) does not reflect how brilliant he was with willow in hand. Off the top of my head, Viv played 121 test matches.
At his destructive peak, Viv's average would have been much higher than what it steadily declined towards during his recessive final years. This 'prime' statistic is one that I am personally quite keen to use, but there is always a catch- if a batsmen were to score an unbeaten double century in his first match, his next few matches would have a disproportionate average.
I am curious as to how many matches must have been played in order for the statistic to become valid... at first thought, I chose 20 (since most batsmen, Pollock for example, must have played 20 matches before their figures are considered). The highest Viv hit at any stage after 20 matches was 64.14, after his 21st match. After playing at least half of his 121 games (proudly got that beaut correct), the highest Viv's numbers hit was 56.26 in his 65th match.
Basically, for people who couldn't be assed reading that, how many matches does a player how to have played before I can consider his 'prime' batting average?