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Sight Screen

Monday, December 26, 2005


In this article by Ashok Mitra, which Prem had linked to earlier, Mitra says:
Tendulkar has scored 38 centuries and 71 half-centuries in the 358 ODI matches he has played till now. Ganguly has played a fewer number of matches — 270 — but he too has hit as many as 22 centuries and 60 half-centuries; no other Indian player is yet in sight to reach such a record. The proportion of occasions Tendulkar and Ganguly have scored, either a century or a half-century in their appearances in ODI matches is exactly the same, 30.4 per cent.
What ought common sense as well as the verdict of natural justice to be in such a circumstance? Just as the law of probability supports the hypothesis that persevering with Sachin Tendulkar is bound to yield ample dividends even in the future, should not a similar conclusion seem equally valid in the case of the southpaw from Calcutta?
The selectors thought otherwise. The concept of natural justice has clearly failed to appeal to them.

For the time period starting June 1, 2003 to present, here are both SG and SRT's career stats(in ODI's, since that is what Mr.Mitra is focusing on):
Saurav Ganguly 46 1226 90 28.51
Sachin Tendulkar 44 1690 141 41.21
A whole thirteen point difference in the averages over two years makes it clear: SG's decline as a batsman is not restricted to this season alone.
Therefore my question is: why should the selectors be blamed for thinking that persisting with Saurav Ganguly will no longer yield 'ample dividends'?
PostScript (from Prem): Actually, after reading Ashok Mitra's piece Friday, the puzzle stayed with me over the weekend. Could it be that the figures needed another look? Could it be, as the writer pointed out, that the gulf between the two players is not quite as vast as popular perception suggests it is?
The only way to settle the question, really, is to parse performance. Not in convenient little chunks that help prove whatever point a person is trying to make, but on the whole. As Arjun says, beginning June 1, 2003, which is when the season kick-started again after the World Cup, to today.
Here, then, is the match up (and after examining the straight stats, it might also be pertinent to examine the breakup with reference performances against the greater and lesser sides): Sachin Tendulkar here; and here, Sourav Ganguly.
Those are the stats -- without the filter of convenience. All yours, read into it what you will.


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