Cause Slifer said so.........!!!!
No love for Barry Richards? I know he didn't play much Test cricket, but he had an impeccable technique and was a brilliant strokeplayer as well. Many who saw him play would rank him above either Hutton or Gavaskar, and certainly well ahead of his Hampshire opening colleague, Gordon Greenidge, who IMO was the finest opener ever produced by the West Indies. I have very fond memories of watching Richards-Greenidge partnerships in the 1970's.
This is a very interesting one for stats buffs. Normally one will find that the greatest of batsmen have a relatively settled (low fluctuation) average over their careers. Basically because, invariably, once they settle into their careers, they tend to have prolonged peaks and during this period they accumulate so much that the odd blip does not bring their averages down by much. But one can still see some interesting statistical differences. Here are six of the top players over time and most of them appear in most people ATG sides.
This needs some explaining.Code:Batsman Tests Highest Lowest Career Diff H/L Diff % Bradman 52 111.9 89.6 99.9 22.3 22.3 Sobers 91 65 52.5 57.8 12.5 21.6 Hammond 85 66.6 54.9 58.5 11.7 20.0 Sutcliffe 54 70.5 60.7 60.7 9.8 16.1 Hobbs 61 61.3 56 57 5.3 9.3 Tendulkar 1 194 59.2 37.4 54.3 21.8 40.1 Tendulkar 2 194 59.2 49 54.3 10.2 18.8
1. The Diff H/L column shows the difference between the lowest and the highest averages obtained after the end of the 20th Test. This shows wide fluctuation - from Hobbs' 5.3 to Bradman's 22.3. But then Bradman's average is almost twice that of the others - hence the next column which converts this difference to a % of the career average. Now the range is between 15 to 22 which is reasonable except for two players, Hobbs(9.3) and Tendulkar (40.1)
2. Hobbs's fantastically low variation in the average is nothing but a reflection of his remarkable consistency over such a long career - that too as an opener in an era of uncovered wickets. There is absolutely no doubt as to why this man is on everyone's ATG list and why there are those who consider him, technically as well as in adverse conditions, the superior of the Don himself.
3. Tendulkar's figures show a bit of a problem with the eligibility criteria of minimum 20 Tests. For most of the others the 20 tests represent a very large chunk of their career tally. From 22 percent for Sobers to nearly 40 percent for Bradman. For Tendulkar, however, these represent just over 10 percent of the matches he has played so far.Even if this 20 Test limit was made 30 in his case, the figures become more like everyone else's (Tendulkar 2) barring Hobbs of course. Although 30 Tests still represent just 15 % of his Test tally against 22-40 that 20 represents for the others.
What we are really saying is that the young Tendulkar in his teens was not the finished product and too far from his prime for this not to affect his figures for that period vis-a-vis what he was to achieve over the next two decades.
So it is obvious that the top batsmen over time will have a low and high average differential of between 15 to 20 % of their career figure. However, there will be those who will have made much bigger strides or fallen much more sharply in their careers. I am sure they are out there but when you find them you will find that they would not be of the caliber of these giants or their career averages will be in a much lower range, or their career spans will be lower or a combination of these factors.
I would like someone to find a world class player with a long career, a world class career ending average but with a really big difference between the highest and lowest averages.
That should be fun to discuss.
Diff %: 28.3
For his last 40 or so Tests, his average was in a pretty steady decline. He only scored 5 centuries in those last 40 Tests, in about a 3rd of his tests, of 24.
Diff %: 29.9
Last edited by Coronis; 11-01-2013 at 02:23 AM.
Some other batsmen who began their careers with a bang... (using 15 tests as the minimum requirement)
Mike Hussey 86.2 after 18 tests
Jimmy Adams 84.4 after 15 tests
Javed Miandad 75.8 after 17 tests
Doug Walters 74.0 after 17 tests
Arthur Morris 70.4 after 15 tests
Neil Harvey 69.1 after 15 tests
Everton Weekes 68.5 after 15 tests
Frank Worrell 67.5 after 15 tests
Thilan Samaraweera 65.9 after 15 tests
Mark Taylor 65.2 after 16 tests
On the other hand.. Laxman's average after 16 tests was 24.07
Bradman's case is interesting there in that the highest and lowest points after his 20th Test came so close together. The Don's highest average - 111 - actually came in his 20th Test (in fact his highest ever average of 112.29 was reached in the previous Test, his 19th) and yet by the 26th it had fallen to 89.55 after the worst run of form of his career - a six Test stretch where his scores were 8, 66, 76, 24, 48, 71, 29, 25, 36, 13, 30. Bradman's 27th Test produced a score of 304 and the upward trajectory started again.
As for SJS's question of which great batsman with a very high average has such a gap between his highest and lowest points after 20 Tests, I haven't crunched the numbers yet but I'd suggest possibly Kallis? He took quite a long time to really get going as a Test batsman, but when the runs started flowing his average really exploded.
Even if we take the position that - like Tendulkar - Kallis' volume of Tests means that 20 isn't a big enough sample size, consider this. After 50 Tests, Kallis was averaging 41, which compared to his career high is still a high/low differential of 42%.
There might be players with bigger differentials, but I can't imagine there are many.
Yep, after 20 Tests Waugh was averaging 26.25, compared to a peak average of 51.87 - a differential of nearly 98%!!
And even after 50 Tests he was averaging just 36.16 - a high/low differential of 43%.
I wonder if anyone can top Waugh?
He's not gonna beat Waugh (or Kallis), but Amla would have been around 30 odd after 20 matches, no? And he's up to 50 after 65 odd matches. s
Brad McNamara @bbuzzmc
Will say this once and then nothing else. Defamation laws quite clear in Aus.be careful.
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