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In Pursuit Of the Numero Uno   Bookmark and Share

Posted by Kiran Narendran
on August 5th, 2009

When Ricky Ponting outdid Alan Border to become the highest run getter for Australia and the 3rd highest run-getter in the history of cricket, another debate triggered for the best contemporary batsman in the world. Currently it is between the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and the Australian Captain Ricky Ponting. Let’s go into the statistics of the two batting maestros to find the best among them.

Away matches

Overseas matches are the best to judge the mettle of a cricket player. The alien conditions in the away matches are the ultimate test and lets compare the overseas performances of Ponting and Tendulkar.. Sachin Tendulkar piled up 7165 runs in 146 innings out of the 90 overseas test matches with a hefty average of 54.28 and has scored 24 centuries out of the 42 centuries he scored in total. On the other hand, Ponting scored 4575 in 101 innings out of his 58 overseas tests at an average of 49.19, which includes 16 hundreds. As far as overseas test matches are concerned, Tendulkar holds the edge due to his stability in performance against all teams. Tendulkar has an average of more than 40 against all teams; however Ricky Ponting has been struggling terribly against India. He could manage only a century against India in 21 innings and could score only 438 runs at a measly average of 20.85.

2nd Innings chases in overseas

A key batsman’s performance is pivotal when his team chases a target in the backyard of the opposition. Tendulkar has had dismal performances in the 2nd innings chases in overseas matches. He could manage only a single century in the 34 test matches and scored only 542 runs at an average of 27.10. Ponting has been slightly more successful as he scored 3 centuries in the run chases for Australia with 673 runs at a brilliant average of 56.08.  Ponting’s success can be attributed to his ‘invincible’ team which had geniuses like McGrath and Warne and a strong batting order that helped ease the pressure on Ponting. Tendulkar has been quite unlucky with this, as he had to shoulder the complete responsibility of the Indian team before the arrival of Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly. Apparently, that pressure had taken the toll on him and his performances reflect that.

India Vs Australia

Ricky Ponting has scored 1787 runs in 23 matches against India, thanks to his wonderful performance in the home soil. He averages 70 at home, however in India, his average went down to 20.85, which clearly shows his powerlessness against quality spinners. Harbhajan Singh has been a real menace to Ricky Ponting as the off-spinner dismissed him 10 times in 12 test matches. Tendulkar has had real success in his 29 matches against Australia; he amassed 2748 runs with an average of 56.08 that includes 10 blistering centuries. During his first Australian tour, at the age of just 17, Tendulkar scored a captivating 114 runs at the WACA, which is considered as one of fastest and bounciest wickets in the world, against a quality fast bowling unit with the likes of Merv Hughes and Craig McDermott. This is considered as one of the best batting performances ever and it proclaimed the beginning of a true legend, who eventually got a place in the heart of every Indian.

Above all these statistical analyses, Sachin Tendulkar is couple of steps ahead of Ricky Ponting mainly due to his consistency over 20 years and the kind of discipline and passion he has shown. Ricky Ponting has never been idolized in Australia, mainly due to his wayward character. He has been into several controversies, which questioned the spirit and integrity of his game.

A true legend sets the benchmark and stands as an example for the younger generation. According to MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and several other youngsters, Tendulkar has shown them the way to cricket with his feats and his hunger to play cricket without any boredom. There is no doubt that Sachin Tendulkar is a model for the young and old alike.

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9 Responses to “In Pursuit Of the Numero Uno”

  1. ishan goel says:

    @pradeep,@kinshuk
    accepted tht playing as a captain is a diff task altogether, bt lets surely nt frgt wat team compositions u get as a captain……while sachin hd 2 do wid openers in s.ramesh n ss das…..ponting hd d luxury f hayden n langer( n dt 2 at the peak of their forms)….den d keeper cm batsman he had ws mvk prasad n nayan mongia(accepted dt he ws d best till dhoni cam in2 d scene…bt nthin 2 cmpar wid gilchrist who can rip apart any attack in any circumstances…)
    dn bowling wise while sachin hd 2 choose bowling frm srinath,kuruvilla,raju,harvinder singh n chauhan….
    ponting hs hd luxuries frm mcgrath,gillespie,lee,kasprovicz,warne,n dn cam johnson n bracken….der ws no laxman during his reign …and he did cam in2 scene tho nt as establishd…..also nthin in form f all rounders fr sachin…while ponting alwaz hd symo n clarke wid him…..bt u cant put down wt a gr8 composition does fr u(wid best players in every aspects f d game……….

  2. Brown says:

    Hmm… I read blogs on a similar topic, but i never visited your blog. I added it to favorites and i’ll be your constant reader.

  3. Kinshuk says:

    @pradeep
    ya, tht batting as captain angle is a very good point. sachin struggled with the bat as captain. ponting’s been skipper 4 quite some time and his batting form still hasn’t dipped….. he deserves a lot of credit for that…..

  4. Pradeep Iyer says:

    We can compare Sachin and Ponting as far as batting is concerned. Of course, Sachin is a legend. But remember, Ponting has shown his batting capabilities, mostly while being a skipper. Here the responsibilities are much higher than simply being a batsman like Sachin. As a skipper, Ponting has to lead the entire team and as a batsman, he has to provide a strong basement for the batting order. And Ponting have been really successful in accomplishing this task over years.

    As you all know, Sachin as a skipper was not at all a success. After he crowned as the India captain in 1996, it was not at all a good time for India. They lost the Australia tour in 1997 by 3-0, lost the South African tour by 0-2 and more in the list. So in my opinion, we cannot compare these two legends only in the batsmen criteria. We should give value to the added responsibility Ponting is having, for many years..

    Guys, I think I have a point here..

  5. Hi Kinshuk,
    Thank you very much for your feedback. I beg to differ to your comments that Sachin is poor against South Africa and Pakistan. Sachin has scored at 42.28 against Pakistan and 35.35 against South Africa. In South Africa and Pakistan, Sachin scored 39.76 and 40.25 respectively which isnt as bad as Ricky Ponting’s measly 20.85 in India.

    Now your next comment was “Ponting is an outstanding captain”; let’s see that too in perspective

    Let’s see his performance as a captain when Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist and Hayden where there and after their stint

    Till date Ponting has won 38 test matches out the 59 tests he captained, which is rather impressive. we will overlook the retirement of Hayden and Warne. let’s see how Ricky Ponting performed as a captain after the retirement of McGrath and Gilchrist .

    Since Ponting took over the captaincy and till McGrath’s retirement match – Australia played 40 Tests and had won 30 , lost just 3 and drawn 7.

    After McGrath retired – Australia played 24 tests till date and won 11,lost 7 and drawn 6 , which looks good but no way near to the above .

    After Hayden’s retirement, Australia played 6 test matches and won 2, lost 2 and drawn 2 .

    This is the performance chart of a team, who have twice replicated the feat of winning 16 tests consicutively. These stats are just to prove that Ponting is not the best captain ever though he posses good leadership skills. He needs to learn from Sourav Ganguly on how to get the maximum from the rookies.

    Hope this reply have clarified all your queries.

  6. Kinshuk says:

    hmmm…. tht’s the beauty of statistics…. decide what u want to prove…nd then pick nd chose stats nd interpret them in a way tht suits ur purpose……. add a minor opposing stat just to sound objective in ur analysis….

    if ricky’s struggled against harbhajan, sachin’s performances against south africa nd pakistan are nothing to write home about……

    runs overseas matter more in the case of batsmen from the sub-continent who pile up runs on flat tracks @ home but r usually found wanting when they go abroad…… aussie tracks over the years hv been far more sporting nd to equate indian home conditions to aussie home conditions isn’t entirely fair…….

    sachin’s a gr8 bat nd might still end up with more runs than ponting, but if all u want to do is vain hero-worship then don’t pretend to b an objective analyst…

  7. Praveen Jose says:

    Sachin truly deserves the Numero-Uno position practically because of his courage and the passion for the game.

    Not many in the history of cricket had a chance to stay in the green ring for this long period of around 20 years while keeping his position inside the top 20 rankings for 14 long years .The world knows him as much as his fellow countrymen love him.

    Have to say , Ponting is a an outstanding captain though, whatever criticism he is facing !

  8. Jinju Nankandiyil says:

    I strongly believe Tendulakar is the real legend who is a genius player as well as an ambassador of the conduct in the cricket ground. He never been included in any issues as Ponting had been in. You can see the passion and discipline in each moment of his innings and in the field as well. He has the true spirit of game and always look like an 18 Yrs old young man. Tendulkar rocks!!!

  9. Mithun Cheriyath says:

    No one can match Sachin ever in the history of cricket..

    I can strongly say this because of the statistics shown below

    India — Population: 1,147,995,904
    Of which atleast 1,000,000,000 knows who Sachin is and what he had given them .

    Ricky Ponting : Great professional cricketer . But not even half the Australian Population knows that Cricket is their National game (Not official but its the truth) .

    Sachin is a Living Legend.

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