Sachin Tendulkar is not the greatest, Bradman's average isn't 99.94, claims IIM-C study

Sachin Tendulkar is not the greatest, Bradman’s average isn’t 99.94, claims IIM-C study

Sir Viv Richards has been ranked below average in most of the categories.

Sachin Tendulkar with Sir Don Bradman. (Photo Source: Twitter)

You talk about Cristiano Ronaldo’s achievements, and someone in your friend group will pop up the name of Lionel Messi. Talk about Sachin Tendulkar and soon there will be enough numbers suggesting why Donald Bradman or  Brian Lara deserves the attention. How do you measure the greatness of two cricketers? Number of hundreds? Better average? or the consistency?

According to Business Standard, the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C) solves the jigsaw with a tested method to compare players across generations. The research paper subjected ‘Measuring batting consistency and comparing batting legends in Test cricket: Innovative applications of statistical tools’ put on by IIM-C’s faculty members Sahadeb Sarkar and Anirban Banerjee digs into more than just mere runs.

“Our study analyses batsmen’s performance in terms of five criteria, namely batting average, consistency or dependability, longevity, quality of runs scored and opposition diversity.” Sahadeb Sarkar told Business Standard.

According to the study, Bradman is better with the willow when it comes to the quality of runs scored, where as Tendulkar was said to be consistent against different oppositions.

“Traditional methods of calculating a player’s batting average require assumptions that may not often be justified. Furthermore, a measure of batting consistency of a player is generally not provided, for example, by ICC or ESPN Cricinfo. Our work successfully addresses both of these issues using the Weibull distribution model for a select group of Test batsmen. It provides a reliable estimate of batting consistency which is statistically more rigorous than what is available in the existing literature. Batting average values produced by our statistically more rigorous method are different from those provided by the traditional method.” he added.

Bradman’s average is 109.42, according to the study

It has been said that Bradman’s average is not 99.94 as the fans world wide know. It is rather 109.42. “We also consider if the runs were scored at home or away, and how well the opposition fared in such situations. This is done through our criterion called ‘index for quality runs scored’. For example, runs scored against an Australian side weigh more than those scored against a Bangladesh or a Zimbabwe team.”

Richards ranked below-average

However, West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has been ranked below average in majority of the categories. Close inspection indicates that quality runs scored by Richards, as measured by the overall composite performance index value of 0.89, appear to be below average. Further, compared to other star players in our study, Richards’ batting average appears to be high only against England in both home and away matches, and against New Zealand and India only in home matches.