Oct 21, 2010

Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar

There is a lot of hype in media about Ponting's best days being behind him. While he's rebuilding a fresh Aussie team, everyone is putting more pressure on him by comparing his performance with Tendulkar's. Leave him alone!

We have the privilege of watching two great batsmen play in our lifetimes. They've both had prolific batting careers in all formats of the game (see chart below). I love watching them and hate the run and form comparison. It kills the joy of cricket. Why can't we simply accept that they are both great players. We don't compare Rembrant and Picasso's work line by line, color by color, year by year? So why subject sportsmen to such comparison.

Yes, Tendulkar is playing good cricket in the last 4 years compared to how he performed in 2003, 2005 and 2006. Ricky is champion batsman and captain. He leads his team and cannot be subjected to a comparison based only on runs/centuries scored in a year. Give him some time to rebuild his team and then he can get back to his ferocious batting style (remember his assault in world cup final against India in 2003). Its only a matter of few games and he'll be back in form soon. World Cups bring out the best in him, so just wait and watch!

Update: Oct 23, 2010

Here's the code to generate the bar graphs showing Tendulkar's and Ponting's Total Runs/Year and Runs/Match that Year.


  1. Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that every batsman has his own style and Ponting is by far one of the finest batsman of our times. I also agree that his comparison with Sachin, though unavoidable as they are contemporaries, is still unfair as Ponting never had to pull of expectations of billions of fans. On the other hand, Sachin wasnt very good with his bat in his short captaincy stint. (You could draw one more graph showing their batting averages as captains. Poting's will be far better) All said; if you still ask me to choose a mascot to represent team spirit, sportsman spirit and gentry that the game of cricket is all about; I will choose Sachin. I guess most of us will ;)

  2. I totally agree Surbhi. Sachin is not only a fantastic player but also a great role model. I will chose Sachin as well as the best cricketer I've seen.

  3. Great blog...I don't know anything about cricket, but still find your posts very fascinating. The only reason I even know who Sachin was is because he's in so many commercials on Indian TV. Even on Asianet (Kerela).

    In regards to the plot with blue and yellow bars and white background, how did you create that plot.
    If R, can you post the code...please :)

  4. It is indeed a shame that people are obsessed with averages rather than the number of individual performances, e.g. 50s and 100s scored by these two master batsmen at crucial times.

    There also tends to be an obsession with finding one particularly, often pointless, statistic and trying to use that to rubbish a player.

    Keep up your cricket posting. :)

  5. Yes, all plots were generated using R. I've added the code to the post. cheers.

  6. Time for Ponting to reclaim the Ashes urn -http://www.vinayjalla.co.uk/blog-vinayjalla