Thursday, July 1, 2010


Australia have a win... They restore some of their "pride"! Captain Ponting and vice - captain Clarke get 90s. And as the Cricinfo commentary put aptly... Clarke did not manage to reach his 100 since he became a victim of his own inabilities to play the big shots.

During his innings of 92, Ricky Ponting became just the 3rd batsman in One Day International cricket to cross the landmark of 13000 runs (after Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jaisuriya). Great achievement, that!

However, over the past few years, Ponting's form (especially in Tests) has gone down. He is no longer the feared No. 3 player that he used to be in his prime... the early 2000s. In fact, ever since he crossed the landmark of 10000 ODI runs, Ponting's Test average has been less than 50. So I thought that I will do this little comparison of how the progression through ODI landmarks has affected the Test form of the two great champion batsmen of our times... Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting.


10K to 11K ODI runs - 7 Tests, 699 runs @ 69.90 (2 100s, 4 50s)
11K to 12K ODI runs - 16 Tests, 1392 runs @ 54.20 (4 100s, 5 50s)
12K to 13K ODI runs - 6 Tests, 454 runs @ 50.44 (1 100, 2 50s)
13K to 14K ODI runs - 18 Tests, 1121 runs @ 48.73 (3 100s, 4 50s)
14K to 15K ODI runs - 8 Tests, 536 runs @ 44.66 (2 100s, 2 50s)
15K to 16K ODI runs - 9 Tests, 860 runs @ 57.33 (2 100s, 6 50s)
16K to 17K ODI runs - 13 Tests, 991 runs @ 45.04 (3 100s, 4 50s)
17K to 17598 ODI runs - 7 Tests, 674 runs @ 84.25 (5 100s, 1 50)


10K to 11K ODI runs - 6 Tests, 408 runs @ 45.33 (1 100, 3 50s)
11K to 12K ODI runs - 20 Tests, 1569 runs @ 43.58 (4 100s, 9 50s)
12K to 13K ODI runs - 8 Tests, 583 runs @ 44.84 (1 100, 3 50s)

So, from the mark of 10000 ODI runs to his current peak of 17598, Sachin Tendulkar has been able to maintain a very decent form... his average dropping below 50 only in 3 such stretches and just once below 45. Two of such occasion (13K to 14K and 14K to 15K) coincided with his injury troubles... back, fingers, tennis elbow, et cetera.

On the other hand, Ponting's Test form has just gone southwards ever since he crossed the 10000 landmark in ODIs during the World Cup 2007. His average has never been above 50... and just once has bettered 45. His troubles have coincided more with Australia's lack of domination in cricket rather than any injury troubles of his own. His troubles, curiously, started with the retirements of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. Or not so curious, is it?

I have been of the belief for a long time now that Ricky Ponting's good performances with the bat have come on the back of the knowledge that his team has great batsmen in the lineup to follow him and bowlers to skittle out or who've already skittled out the opposition for a meagre total. In such a context, Sachin Tendulkar's knocks, particularly during the first half of his career, have come when he's been the lone fighter for India. Complete dependency creates additional pressure. Ponting has succumbed to it more often than not. Tendulkar has not.

Such statistics and numbers sometimes make me marvel at the contributions of guys like Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul... the lone fighters in West Indies squads for many long years. Nevertheless, as this post is basically a comparison of SRT and RTP, I guess my choice is clear!

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