All about SR Tendulkar

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PKBasu
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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby PKBasu » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:29 pm

PUH-LEASE! Miandad, Chappell? Greg C never even toured India. These were all guys who managed their careers rather well to suit their purposes. Miandad was a fine batsman, but he simply didn't have the class of Tendulkar. In that era, the premier test batsman was undoubtedly Sunil Gavaskar -- who ended with the most runs (10122), tests (125) and centuries (34), all far ahead of Greg Chappell and Miandad. On SRT vs Dravid, I think the latter was found out in the series against McGrath and Warne (i.e., the full Aus attack in its prime) in 1999, when he did a lot worse than even Ganguly -- while SRT shone. Purely on averages, Kallis is marginally ahead -- but again, I don't think Kallis faced the degree of difficulty that Sachin did (for instance, never having to face South African pacers in SA!), and SRT has piled up the numbers that Kallis is unlikely to match. (Also, since SA were less likely to be bowled out as a team than India, Kallis was more likely to be not out at the end of the innings than SRT or any other Indian batsman...).

100 centuries in international cricket is an awesome mark that will probably never be equalled. 51 centuries in Tests will be tough to match. 200 tests will be tough to match, unless someone else manages to play 24 years in succession.

And on TOP of that, he has his ODI record. In ODIs, comparing across eras, I would say that only Viv Richards was his peer as a top-order batsman. (Finishers are a different category, as they often stay not out and have better averages). Ponting and Gilchrist would probably be right behind him. SRT was the best batsman at the 1996 and 2003 World Cups, and did well in 1999 despite the fact that he flew from England to India and back during that World Cup because his father had died.

Overall, the greatest career of any cricketer in the history of the game. The second-best batsman of all time in all formats. And the co-equal (with Viv) as the greatest ODI batsman ever. That is my view, you are welcome to yours!

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby Prashant » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:38 pm

Every discussion on 'greatness' in any sport eventually hits the longevity roadblock. To some observers, it matters a great deal. To others, not at all. And there's no way to really reconcile it. It is important that Sachin played at a high quality for so long. Does it make him better than his peers with similar averages, but shorter careers? I'm not sure.

A tennis analogy: I've often opined here that I think Bjorn Borg is the best tennis player of all time, in fact streets ahead of anyone else including Federer. But I also get that he absolutely fails the longevity test. Conversely, I'm absolutely in awe of Federer's ability to reach every GS semi-finals for 7 years in a row. Even if he patently wasn't the best player in the world for some of those 7 years, that stretch is staggering, and puts him above his peers in my estimation. So, even in my own mind the longevity argument is unresolved.

Prasen however is making a different argument, comparing amount of hype with quality of career. I agree that Sachin was, as he puts it, only slightly better than Dravid & Lara & Ponting. But I am guilty of hyping him considerably more. To me, this is largely because Sachin is exactly my age, and grew up in my home town, and played against my school, and there is a great deal of affection that comes from seeing a peer succeed from the age of 15 onwards. Why does this hold for India in general? I think largely because Sachin's start was so much more amazing than anyone else. We began with a tiny cherubic kid taking on fearsome pace bowlers, and showing spine & gumption that all his seniors in the Indian side sorely lacked at that point. He was undeniably different, undeniably new. It is hard to forget that. I don't remember the start of Dravid's career at all - this takes nothing away from Dravid, one of the very best batsmen to grace the game. But he captured my analytical sense of statistical proficiency, not my heart & imagination.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby prasen9 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 3:40 pm

Whatever (@PKB). There is not much one can argue about if we are talking about a beauty contest. Slicing and dicing the data will always create some flaws in some players' resumes. The bottom-line is that I would rather have a Kallis than an SRT in my team. If we are talking about the future, I would rather have a Kallis-like player than an SRT-like. In all his 24 years, seldom has he taken India across the line in the fourth innings of a close match. Creating a tailor-made metric, you can show that SRT is better than anyone else. However, using any sensible metric, it is tough to show that SRT is better than his peers significantly, say by 20%. I do not remember that many significant tournaments where he has single-handedly "Bull"ed (or should it be Jordaned?) the team to trophies. Great player, but, just marginally better than many of the other greats if at all except for longevity.

I agree with Prashanth 100%. I remember Dravid's debut at Lords and have valued his grit. Grit and getting it done (= mental fortitude) makes me value Dravid and Laxman greatly.

If some God asks me whether I would want a young guy, say Kohli, have a SRT-like career or a Dravid-like career or a Laxman-like career or a Dhoni-like career, I would possibly choose Dhoni. If he can build a team and lead us to world cups, I would prefer that. Next, I would prefer a Laxman-like career where by his sheer calmness he can lead us across the mark in 4th innings chases. I would choose a Kallis-like career because we get all those runs plus the fantastic bowling that he gives us. Honestly!

That is the test of the "value" of a player. I can bet Kallis will get nowhere the hype that an SRT retirement has created. That is all I am saying. We are emotional animals and we are within our rights to make decisions based on emotion.

Let me repeat one more thing again. PKB bypasses this argument while continuing to rail against not-outs. Batsmen who remain "not-out" are actually under-valued by averages. You are more likely to get out early in your innings than when your eyes are set. So, scoring, say, 80 runs in one innings on one pitch is actually easier than scoring two 40s without being out on two different pitches on two different days. The probability of getting out early in the innings being higher, it is harder to be not out past 40 twice than to do it once when you are set. So, Kallis' record is actually undervalued if he has not outs.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby prasen9 » Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:21 pm

PKBasu wrote:On SRT vs Dravid, I think the latter was found out in the series against McGrath and Warne (i.e., the full Aus attack in its prime) in 1999, when he did a lot worse than even Ganguly -- while SRT shone.
Picking one series in a long career is not very convincing. Everyone has a bad series. I could easily point out that against the then #1 England SRT did worse than average while RSD shone in England (Pataudi Trophy 2011).

Let me help you out. A more convincing argument would be RSD's inability to bat well in RSA. To the best of my recollection, SRT has done well in all foreign lands. His worst is probably in Pakistan where he averages around 40. I did not check the splits today but that is what I recall. But, RSD has failed repeatedly in RSA (at least to my recollection).

I am not arguing that RSD is a better batsman than SRT --- the opposite is true. But, SRT is not that much better than his peers. At least his results have not been.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby PKBasu » Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:53 am

Dravid and Ganguly were (slightly) better players of swing in English conditions than Tendulkar and Laxman. But on bouncy tracks, Dravid fell short (as did Ganguly). Dravid had one superb series in Australia (2003), when McGrath didn't play (and McGill was the leggie, not Warne). Tendulkar was never a complete failure in any Test series -- unlike Dravid in Aus 1999. That is an awesome record. And Tendulkar has, as you point out, a superb record in all test playing countries and conditions. 2003-04 was Sachin's nadir (when I started this thread, suggesting he either rest or retire to preserve his awesome record; he was right to soldier on, and did come roaring back to do some awesome things in the 2008-2011 period: so, belated mea culpa from me!).

On Borg vs Federer, I disagree that Borg was ever better than Federer. I lived through both eras, and was really irritated that Borg retired at 25 after losing one Wimbledon final to McEnroe. Resilience and the ability to come back is an important sporting trait, and Borg didn't show it. The main reason why I think Borg is marginally below Federer is that Borg never won the US Open, while Federer did manage to win the French (his weakest Slam), albeit just once (that he was runner-up there so many times suggests that Federer was the second-best player on clay in his era too, apart from being the best player on hard courts, grass courts and indoor carpet). Federer dominated Wimbledon for longer than Borg did. And he won 3 of the Slams four consecutive years, which is pretty remarkable. Plus those SIX year-end championships. Longevity matters, as does consistency across surfaces: the consecutive Slam QF and SF records are perhaps the most amazing ones that Federer has -- with the next best very far behind indeed.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby sameerph » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:11 am

prasen9 wrote:I am not arguing that RSD is a better batsman than SRT --- the opposite is true. But, SRT is not that much better than his peers. At least his results have not been.


If you are talking of his peers among Indian batsmen, only Rahul Dravid comes close in test cricket ,not Ganguly or Laxman. Ganguly only has an average of 42+ while Laxman has 45+ . Nowhere comparable to Sachin & Dravid. Sehwag is better.

But, as an ODI batsman he is way ahead of anyone else, average close to 45 with SR of 86+.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby PKBasu » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:24 am

An average built over 200 tests all over the world is not comparable with one compiled over just 52 tests in two countries.

Kallis and Sangakkara are admittedly in the same league for test matches in this generation, but neither of them was remotely as effective in ODIs. Sachin over the course of his career was the best batsman of his generation -- and the greatest batsman in the game since Don Bradman.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby PKBasu » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:31 am

I must say one of the biggest surprises of this week for me was the discovery that Sachin's mother-in-law is English!! Annabel Mehta married Anjali Tendulkar's father 47 years ago, when they were both students at the London School of Economics. So an economics education did prove useful in some way!!

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby sameerph » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:38 am

And also learnt that Anjali's father was a national bridge champion for a long period.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby PKBasu » Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:47 am

Didn't know that either. Jimmy Mehta, I think, was the famous bridge columnist. (I wouldn't know much, as I don't play that game at all). But Anand Mehta is Sachin's father-in-law -- and is 7 times national bridge champion!

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby Atithee » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:16 am


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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby sameerph » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:33 am

I still remember watching Sachin's first Ranji trophy match live Wankhede in December 1988 against Gujarat. There was already a buzz about Sachin due to his expoints in school cricket and there was a big crowd even for legue Ranji trophy match. Sure enough, Sachin did not disappoint his fans with a ton .

I had just crossed 20 then & would have never imagined that Sachin's last match would be almost 25 years later when I am in mid 40's now.

Absolute legend. :notworthy: :notworthy:

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby Sandeep » Sat Nov 16, 2013 3:13 pm

Oh man, that was one heck of an emotional speech. Almost everyone in the stadium and infront of their television sets had moist eyes! Legend, absolute legend. He is rightly conferred with Bharathratna, the first sportsperson to get this award.

I must say one of the biggest surprises of this week for me was the discovery that Sachin's mother-in-law is English!!


Coming to surprises, I never knew Nitin, Ajith and Savitha are Sachin's half brother/sister!!! Sachin is Ramesh Tendulkar's son from the second marriage. Amazing that the world never knew bout this. Just goes on to show how tightly Sachin keeps his private things in life.

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby Omkara » Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:01 pm

Yup a very emotional good bye. My FB timeline about people talking about how they cried during the speech. Ravi Shashtri played spoil sports

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Re: All about SR Tendulkar

Postby cricketics » Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:24 pm

This was a brilliant speech and a a brilliant end to his career.

He deserved the farewell he got. His speech must have inspire so many people.


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