Originally Posted by karty_83
Very true indeed. I still remember those days in in 02-03 , with the advent of Sehwag as a basher, Tendulkar was asked to bat at no 4. They wanted Sehwag to open with Ganguly to keep the left hand right hand combination going.
God never made the kinda runs he was used to because he never had the time and overs to do so. It was at the same time when Dravid was asked to come in at no.5/6 and back up as a keeper and that he did gleefully for his team. I am sure Dravid would have scored many more runs than he did had he continued at no.3 but the team came first and he obliged.
The team did well but Tendulkar did not(by his standards i.e. 100s) for a couple of series. Pressure from media, senior cricketers and commentators brought him back to the openers slot and the rest his history.
Agreed that Sachin is a supremely talented batsman. There are no two ways about that. But to call him the greatest ever is taking it a little too far. Fans call him the best because he has 51 test hundreds, but then he has also played 180 test matches for it.
A Garfield sobers has scored half the number of centuries in half the number of matches at a better average against better bowling attacks on more difficult pitches. What if he had also played 180 matches ? What if in this era ? No doubt he would have gone past his record , and lets not question Sobers credentials he is a proven genius.
Vivian richards would have beaten all Sachin's odi records had he played for 450 odd matches. Lets not question his credentials either.
What if a Lara or a Ponting or a Kallis or a Hussey played for India and started off at the age of 16 ? With the kind of pitches we play in and bcci support , after 20 years would they have achieved any less ?
Pure case of a statistician analyzing the game.
According to you - number of runs/ 100s scored is directly proportional to the number of games played. Which concludes that anyone playing 450 odis and 180 test matches will score 100 international hundreds.
For me this function is little more complicated.
it is a function of:
1. Number of games played - More you play, more you can score. but it is exponentially proportional with the exponent varying at various points on the timeline.
2. Fitness - If you are not fit, you cannot bat for long enough to score more runs. Also after getting few chances you will get dropped because you did not score enough.
3. Desire - Ex: Saeed anwar lost the desire to score runs.
4. longevity - For ex: Damien Martin did not last long enough to score 30k runs.
5. Quality of opposition: it is easier to score against say PK and Sreesanth than Styne and Morne Morkel.
6. Fielding standards - We give away more runs and drop catches than what say and Australian or SA side do.
7. Fitness of the opponents. - The earlier the opponents bowler tire, better it is for me. Tired fielders give easy runs.
8. Talent - If you dont have talent, you will never sustain at the top. Ex: Sameer Dighe / Vijay Dahiya / Tinu Yohannan / Ashish Kapoor etc.
9. Dedication : Azhar was talented to play many more matches and score many more runs than what he did.
10. Hard work : No one will sustain
=> No of runs scored = f1(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9)
Also, number of games played is in-turn a function of many of the factors above 2,3,4,8 and 9 and hence can be re-written as:
f(1) = f(2,3,4,8,9)
this implies - number of matches is not an independent factor it is, in fact, a derived factor and hence over-rated. Also, most of the primary factors are non-measurable.
At the end of it, cricket is an art more than a science. It cannot be rated in numbers but can be felt by the pleasure you have out of watching an inning. The difference is in an innings played by one Shahid afridi where he muscles the ball all around the park and the artistry of a Sachin/ Rahul where the timing and placement threads the ball through the packed 9-1 field.
Now, let me try my hands on comparing apples with oranges and Sachin with the rest. If, if and buts would have happened, the earth would been flat. For the record, they were not able to do what Sachin has achieved.
Don't know whether he is the best ever. But he is the one who has brought smiles to the most number of cricket lovers in this world. For me he is second to none.
Edit: I have been very sad throughout the evening today. Someone stole my latest bat (SG Cobra Max) just seasoned and used in one game for 22 overs and 107* runs. It was in my living room as I changed the grip yesterday night and when I returned from office, I found it missing :(