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How long will he hold on?

by Bored Member

by Raja Baradwaj

When this person called Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar became the highest run getter in test history, it would have been around 6-7p (roughly) down under and about 11a or so in England. At that point in time it was the euphoria of someone having broken a big record that dominated the press. Now that it is about 48 hours since and the feeling sinking in, I am sure a lots of them have started thinking / writing about the next stage. Their prediction about the state of this record

So the logical next question is… Who will break it?

Ricky Ponting or Jacques Kallis? For they seem to be the closest to breaking the record.

So here I am trying to crunch some numbers to figure the fate of the record, when will it be broken and who will.



1. The last biggie to retire was a small man called Brian Charles Lara, he retired when he was 37. So 37 has been taken as the benchmark year here for the other three players in question.
2. Based on the number of years they have been playing and the number of matches they have played, we have arrived at a number of matches they play on an average per year. Based on which we have arrived at a number of matches they would play further (projected)
3. To arrive at the number of runs they would score in the years left, 3 scenarios were looked at
(a) Their average at the start of their career. First 25 matches
(b) Average at present. The last 25 of their matches
(c) The average across their career
(d) The best among these three has been taken as the projected average for the rest of their career

Interesting takeouts

1. The bottom line seems to be very tightly poised, there is a less than 200 run difference between the two players as they finish their careers
2. We traditionally know Sachin as a very poor second innings player (remember my previous hard hitting stats post?!!). One look at Ponting proves he is no better. Both of them have only 27% of their total runs come from the second innings.
3. Ponting has a good match average because he has far more incomplete innings, meaning not outs etc.
4. While Sachin seems to have a steady average across his career, the other two have had a very good last few years. The variance between the first 25 and last 25 match average for Ponting is +25 and for Kallis is +14
5. Kallis is an odd man in this club. He has a very healthy second innings average. The variance of first to second is +8. The only one to have so
6. We could literally rule Kallis out of the race for the simple reason that he is an allrounder. This means that the wear and tear is more compared to the other two.
7. Sachin too has a fair share of his injuries. More recently a cricket irrelevant injury, the tennis elbow!! And Ponting too is not left far behind. So what are we talking about here??

While we have been speaking about the present, we also need to have one look at the past. For there have been some splendid players who, had they had opportunity like the blessed ones today, they would have placed the bar miles away.


Interesting facts

1. Geoffrey Boycott baffles me. His career spanned across 18 tumultuous years, as we all know he also quit playing as and when he liked. In spite of all this, had he played like the others did, more importantly like the England of those days, he would have played about 9 matches an year on an average. That would have left him at 15,374 test runs
2. One look at the figures here tells you a big story. The story of test matches across years, there was a time (Geoff, Sunil & Allan) when they played full 5 days cricket, when both the innings were equally important. As test cricket evolved, the second innings became more irrelevant. The strategy now changed to put a huge score, choke them. Because of this the present day cricketer is pressured to apply himself well in the first innings and then he plays the second innings either to win or for a desperate draw. The result, a poor second innings record.
3. Steven Waugh seems to be as lucky as talented a man he is. He has been at the right place at the right time. The accumulator he is, he wouldn't have had enough chances like he had, had he started today

There are many more things one could read from these two simple charts. I leave the rest to your imaginations.

Well, as we all know statistics are like miniskirts. They reveal more than they hide.

There is also a converse to this…

Talent is like a dhoti, it covers more than it should reveal.

We are talking about 3 real talents at present. The competitive environment today is, you never know when any one of them would retire or where they would place the bar should they retire.

It would be for time to say where, when and how.

Till then let’s all join in saying Cheers!! Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, Laghe raho.


Gaurav Sethi said...

Sachin will play test cricket till the ends of the earth - at least till the end of Ponting. He will secure a fair distance for his record, between himself and his contemporaries (esp Punter), then when it's secure, for at least another 15 years, he'll hang his boots.

If he can help it, no player of his generation will better this record.

And if that's what makes him tick, there's nothing wrong with it.

Delwyn said...

The thing with Sachin & retirement: Me believes what fires him more than ever is people mouthing off on him - remember what he did to The Ozzies when they sledged him in da past? Got the highest aggregates & biggest knocks against them.

So only when the "thaka hua" critics/lay people stop asking for his blood, will he decide to step off (his version of stepping down). So keep a lid on it all ye losers/skeptics/critics or else he wont ever retire, keep up with his consistency (long term NOT series specific - come on, he's not a machine) and that would be fantastic to watch & savour

Q said...

Aren't forgetting Rahul Dravid?

RajaB said...

Q mian...

That is precisely Dravid's problem everyone seems to forget him...

Me, people like me, (shortly) the selectors and the bored!!

It is a shame I say!!

Otherwise he would be another contender for the crown...

He might end-up close to 12,000 if he manages to play for another 2 years and he would probably end up as the third highest run scorer.