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Mark of a man – The number game

by RajaB

“ Ramps never utilized his chances, he got his starts but never pressed on.”

An interesting case point put forth by NC, Q & Prabhu. Now some numbers

First let us see a chart that would show the first class records (matches, innings, 100s, matches & innings taken for a hundred) of some of finest cricketers in the recent past.

200 first class matches is the cut-off.

Some take-outs

1) Ramps has played nearly the same amount of cricket Gavaskar & Miandad played

2) He has reached 100s more frequently than the two legends.

3) Ok, English county bowling is a bit sub-standard but I am sure you would have to apply the same yardstick to Sunil and Javed too.

Out of the 220 domestic / county first class matches Gavaskar played, at least 50% would be those he played against the Gujarat’s, Maharashtra’s & Baroda’s of the West Zone and as an overseas player for Somerset. And we should remember that 47 of his 81 hundreds came from his domestic / county performances.

So how many would you want to discount from 47?

Javed’s case is a little more pronounced, he played 280 of his 402 I class matches locally (in Pakistan or Glamorgan). He got 57 hundreds playing these.

So it would be a bit unfair to say that Ramps scored against a not so good bowling
On the number of matches bit, yes we (the subcontinent) have been a little obsessed about earning money than looking at grassroot level cricket. Therefore we don’t have enough domestic cricket to back us up.

Now look at the number of years Sachin, Dravid, Sourav have been playing and the number of matches they have played till date. Can we compare these numbers with a Gavaskar, Miandad or an Abbas, it is pathetic.

Next point made was about the number of false starts Ramps had.

I agree that he did choke in the 20s, but those were the ones we saw (the various installements he got from the TCCB / ECB). Unfortunately this man never got his due in international cricket. All he got was 4-5 installments of a series or a series and a half here and there. Most of the time he was fed to the wolves. Like, bringing him to India or taking him to New Zealand and then immediately dropping him citing 3-4 non-performances without even looking at that one innings where he stood tall when every English batsman bite dust.

Had he been given a consistent run may be he might have been successful. Now let’s look at some numbers to validate

Here we compare Ramps and Sourav. What we see is the number of tests played, test innings played, number of 50s & 100s, matches and innings taken for the 100 by these two players.
We can see that both Ramps and Sourav have almost the same 50s rate. But the difference is that Sourav’s 113 matches came in as one bundle and Ramp’s 52 came in installments of 5-8 tests each time.

We all know how nervous a batsman would be when things are uncertain, the would I be playing or not would constantly be working on his minds.

Now look at his first class record, it would make sense for you. Yes, he got an uninterrupted run in first class cricket. And therefore he has uninterruptedly scoring 100s.

Data thanks to


Gaurav Sethi said...

Raja, at least you're giving him uninterrupted coverage here.

While I buy the point about lack of continuity and added pressure, I also find the ECB’s ways strange, then with Ramps, as they are now, with a lotta players – their high standards are low, have been so for the last decade or so, or England just can’t produce a bloke with an avg in the mid to high 40s, forget about 50+ – esp for more than a few tests.

How do they continue to play a higher order batsman, over and over again, for over 50 tests, and still he averages only 27? And I don’t buy the first class form bit – they refuse to look elsewhere, and if they do, it’s always within a small talent pool.

Frankly man, the pool needs draining. Given half a chance, I can still see them gng back to Tresco. Enough to make you sick

Q said...

Intriguing insights Raja.. great work..

The eye opener is definitely the lack of first class cricket for the modern day cricketers as compared to the oldies.. I guess the increase in international work load and ODIs has something to do with that..

If u add the ODIs played to the first class matches played to all those in the list, I think Sachin, Saurav, Dravid would have played as many matches as Gavaskar, Miandad, and Abbas.