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April 16, 1998


The slam-bang brigade

send this story to a friend Prem Panicker & Anant Gaundalkar

Who are India's best one-day players?

The question assumes relevance given the inordinate number of limited overs internationals looming on the country's cricketing horizon.

More so since the itinerary includes several prestigious clashes -- the Independence Cup in the land of the world champions Sri Lanka, the five-game showdown in Toronto against traditional rivals Pakistan, the mini-World Cup involving all nine Test nations in Bangladesh... right through to the big one, the World Cup, 1999, in England.

There are no definite statements being made here. There is no attempt to rank the Indian players in order of merit, to advocate the case of one over the other.

What follows, rather, is a compilation of relevant data. Which incorporates peripheral stats that do not normally form part of a player's statistics -- the strike rate being the chief among them.

Here, it needs noting that while the overall strikerate takes into account all innings played by the player concerned, the highest and lowest strike rates are computed only on the basis of innings in excess of 50 runs.

The reason is to strike a balance, to ensure that the stats do not get skewed by the kind of innings a player could play coming in, say, with two overs left to go, where he throws his bat blindly at everything and strikes at around 200%. True, such innings have value in the context of the particular game. However, they do not give a true picture of a batsman's overall striking ability. And hence the emphasis on long innings when it comes to computing the highest, and lowest, strike rates.

Even at a cursory glance, the table that follows presents points that could lead to endless debate.

For instance, judged entirely on the basis of strike rate, would Robin Singh rate as our most consistent one day batsman?

Judged in terms of aggregate, average and strike rates, how does one justify a Navjot Singh Sidhu being included over a Rahul Dravid?

If Sachin Tendulkar is India's most consistent one day player -- as his 50s and 100s, and his aggregate, appear to indicate, then how come the likes of Saurav Ganguly and Mohammad Azharuddin has the better average? And leading from that, which type of batsman gets the palm -- the guy who produces more big innings than any other, or the guy who consistently scores in the mid-forties?

In the interests of helping the fan understand and analyse team selection, we plan, shortly, to expand this table to incorporate details of leading domestic performers. True, it would be ridiculous to compare the averages and strike rates of international players, facing international bowling sides, with those of domestic players belting the daylights out of club class bowling -- but at the least, we hope, the expanded table will give insights into the 'best of the rest', a clue to India's bench strength.

Meanwhile, we present the first half of the table -- India's top eight one day players, with statistics from January 1, 1996 upto April 13, 1998, till the start of the recent Pepsi Cup tri-series in India.

Happy debating.

Sachin Tendulkar :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home2423 2128213761.0458 82.12112.35 62.23
Away5654 31712118 33.5649 86.38152.27 71.05
Total:8077 52994137 41.58917 84.52152.27 62.23

Saurav Ganguly :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home1211 --42583 38.63--5 70.8371.26 51.92
Away4441 41592124 43.02210 70.3792.70 61.02
Total:5652 42017124 42.02215 70.6192.70 51.92

Navjot Singh Sidhu :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home1110 --24593 24.50--2 66.2180.86 68.96
Away2218 --435101 24.1612 67.9686.32 81.03
Total:3328 --680101 24.2814 67.0186.32 68.96

Mohammad Azharuddin :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home:2119 4673153* 44.8614 80.98102.68 89.13
Away:5653 101884111* 43.81214 73.57114.06 58.58
Total:7772 142557153* 44.08318 75.40114.06 58.58

Ajay Jadeja :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home:2320 8713116* 59.4124 81.67122.72 60.22
Away:5650 71315119 30.5816 72.14102.89 72.46
Total:7970 152028119 36.87310 75.25122.72 60.22

Rahul Dravid :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home:1111 1453107 45.3014 71.6792.24 60.39
Away:4035 3104590 32.65--8 65.6998.73 48.07
Total:5146 41498107 35.66112 67.3898.73 48.07

Robin Singh :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home:96 11265125.20 --187.50 98.0798.07
Away:3631 4697100 25.8111 86.7598.79 98.03
Total:4537 582310025.7112 86.9098.79 98.03

Vinod Kambli :
VenueMtsInns NoRunsHighest Avg100's50's Strike RateHighestLowest
Home1313 4338106 37.5511 79.7196.36 81.25
Away119 11465318.25 --178.91 92.5092.50
Total:2422 5484106 28.4712 79.4796.36 81.25

Prem Panicker

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