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Thread: The importance of a well rounded record

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    International Regular OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    The importance of a well rounded record

    I'm not really too big on stats in general but one of the few statistical records I do make a conscious effort to look at when I judge a cricketer is his performance in various countries. In my opinion, it shows his versatility, his ability to adapt to different conditions, and just his overall skill and greatness. In the discussion about the greatest bowler's, Marshall's name kept getting up and one reason which was mentioned frequently was his consistently superb performances against every opposition no matter where he played them. This, for me separates the greatest from the merely great, the Laras and Tendulkars from the Jayawardenes and Sehwags. Only the very best transcend conditions.
    So are there any cricketers whom you consider great but have mediocre records in several countries? Sangakkara for me falls into this bracket at the moment, I love the guy but his below average performances in a number of countries makes me unable to rate him as high as someone like Kallis or Tendulkar. Fair or unfair?
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    International Vice-Captain Monk's Avatar
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    Fair with conditions. A simple cursory glance at overall stats can be misleading. You need to have played a decent amount of tests somewhere to make a judgement.

    However, Marshall and Tendulkar stand apart a bit as modern-ish players whose records are consistently great wherever they played and whoever they played against.

    McGrath and S.Waugh have outstanding records also against all opponents.

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    It's fair to not put Sangakkara's up there with Lara and Tendulkar. It's not just about the numbers. You have to consider the fact that he's played in a more batting-friendly era where many players have managed to average 50+. Fast bowling was better in the 90s, and quite a few great fast bowlers retired in the early 2000s. Sangakkara's record outside the subcontinent isn't that great anyway. Tendulkar and Dravid had much better records the last time I checked.

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    International Regular OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    Yeah, a decent sample size obviously is necessary, which is why marking down Lillee for one match in Pakistan is ridiculous.
    I only brought this up because I see people ignoring the fact that a batsman failing repeatedly in certain conditions is not merely coincidence but indicates some sort of weakness or limitation in his ability. Generally, it's just brushed off as being "imaginary tickboxes anyway" which I don't agree with at all


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    International Regular OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S View Post
    It's fair to not put Sangakkara's up there with Lara and Tendulkar. It's not just about the numbers. You have to consider the fact that he's played in a more batting-friendly era where many players have managed to average 50+. Fast bowling was better in the 90s, and quite a few great fast bowlers retired in the early 2000s. Sangakkara's record outside the subcontinent isn't that great anyway. Tendulkar and Dravid had much better records the last time I checked.
    While I don't want this thread to turn into a Sangakkara debate I partly disagree with why you don't rate Sangakkara as high. It's not his fault bowling standards have gone down. He's done well against the opposition he has been faced with, which demands respect.
    But I do partially agree that his records in England, SA, West Indies, India just don't look right in the resume of an otherwise ATG batsman. I would love to rate him in the top tier if the era's batsmen but these so - called "artificial" holes in his record really bug me and gnaw at the back of my mind when I think about him

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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    While I don't want this thread to turn into a Sangakkara debate I partly disagree with why you don't rate Sangakkara as high. It's not his fault bowling standards have gone down. He's done well against the opposition he has been faced with, which demands respect.
    But I do partially agree that his records in England, SA, West Indies, India just don't look right in the resume of an otherwise ATG batsman. I would love to rate him in the top tier if the era's batsmen but these so - called "artificial" holes in his record really bug me and gnaw at the back of my mind when I think about him
    I wasn't trying to take anything away from his achievements, but it's difficult to compare batsmen who did well in the golden era of fast bowling (70s - late 90s) with modern day batsmen who average 50.

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    International Regular OverratedSanity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S View Post
    I wasn't trying to take anything away from his achievements, but it's difficult to compare batsmen who did well in the golden era of fast bowling (70s - late 90s) with modern day batsmen who average 50.
    Most of the times, it's just those rose tinted glasses getting in the way, tbh.

    Another reason I think a uniform record is important is because averages from a distance can be very misleading. Sehwag being a classic example. When I argue with some of my friends that Sehwag is useless overseas, they swiftly point out that he averages 45 away from home, which is actually just padded up because of huge performances in Pakistan and Sri Lanka where pitches are pretty much like India's anyway... Pakistan's probably generally flatter too... which conveniently masks his awful records in England and SA where pitches are actually a bit different. Ignoring this leads to ridiculous statements like "Lara and Ponting also average only 46-47 overseas... If Sehwag is an HTB, so are they" which leads to me breaking an unfortunate nose
    Last edited by OverratedSanity; 27-09-2013 at 02:53 AM.

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    Hall of Fame Member grecian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul S View Post
    I wasn't trying to take anything away from his achievements, but it's difficult to compare batsmen who did well in the golden era of fast bowling (70s - late 90s) with modern day batsmen who average 50.

    Or when the pitches got a lot easier to bat on, which is more the point, rather than this anti-evolutionary stuff about fast bowlers being worse.
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    School Boy/Girl Captain Гурин's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverratedSanity View Post
    Most of the times, it's just those rose tinted glasses getting in the way, tbh.

    Another reason I think a uniform record is important is because averages from a distance can be very misleading. Sehwag being a classic example. When I argue with some of my friends that Sehwag is useless overseas, they swiftly point out that he averages 45 away from home, which is actually just padded up because of huge performances in Pakistan and Sri Lanka where pitches are pretty much like India's anyway... Pakistan's probably generally flatter too... which conveniently masks his awful records in England and SA where pitches are actually a bit different. Ignoring this leads to ridiculous statements like "Lara and Ponting also average only 46-47 overseas... If Sehwag is an HTB, so are they" which leads to me breaking an unfortunate nose
    The biggest problem with this approach is that is based on some arbitrary limit deemed as 'good enough', over which everything is considered practically the same.

    A player averaging 60 at home and 40 away would be considered worse than somebody averaging 50 at home and 50 away, as if their averaging 60 and 50 at home were the same thing, both falling in the category of 'good enough'. And they are not, those extra ten runs per innings at home shouldn't be discarded so light-heartedly, given that a team plays half of his games at home.

    I'd love one day to see some team try a 'horses-for-courses' approach for batsmen in cricket. Difficult, given the nature and differences of the pitches around the globe, but to an extent still doable (ok, some of the teams barely have enough decent players to fill a standard XI, but it would still be an interesting approach for sides that treat test cricket seriously).

    Ah, I don't mean changing radically your XI, just putting one or two potential 'country' specialists in the side in place of player(s) who give their best at home, and who could ruin their home ability by trying too much to become 'all around the world' players.
    Last edited by Гурин; 27-09-2013 at 11:15 AM.
    It's the pitch, stupid.

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    International Captain ankitj's Avatar
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    Well rounded record is important for fans to be able to rate a cricketer higher than other cricketers of similar record. Ergo not important at all. Those lacking a well rounded record are probably happily slouching on a couch in a mansion they bought for themselves with the money they earned in cricket while we split hairs.

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    I have trouble judging players on the 3-8 tests they generally play in each other country - a couple of centuries or some low scores can really skew the results, the main problem is that a player can be totally on top of his game or well below it on certain tours, so I find these stats hard to run with completely.
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