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    March 07, 2006

    More similarities between Dravid and Ponting

    I wrote a couple of months ago, after Ponting got two centuries in his 100th test about how similar the numbers for him, Dravid and Kallis were.

    Specifically considering just Ponting and Dravid, since they're among my two favourite batsmen, Ponting has played 100 tests, 166 innings, 23 not outs, 8253 runs, a highest of 257 and a batting average of 57.71. Dravid has played 98 tests, 165 innings, 20 not outs, 8355 runs, a highest of 270 and a batting average of 57.62.

    I just chanced to see Ponting's and Dravid's numbers in one-dayers and they were strikingly similar.

    Ricky Ponting has played 248 one-dayers, 242 innings, been not out 29 times, scored 9020 runs with a highest score of 145, a batting average of 42.3 and a strike rate of 78.7

    Rahul Dravid has played in 280 one-dayers, 259 innings, 34 not outs, 9048 runs with a highest score of 153, a batting average of 40.2 and a strike rate of 70.27.

    To me, while Ponting is a far more destructive one-day player, Dravid is a more "complete" one. Dravid has, in the last 4-5 years, showed a wonderful ability to bat at just about any position and deliver the goods. Ponting, on the other hand, is essentially a #3. Nearly 90% of Ponting's one-day innings are at #3. Dravid, on the other hand, has batted extremely successfully at #3 (35% of his innings), #4 (33%) and #5 (22%).

    Ponting's stability at #3 is a result of him never facing a crisis about his place in the side. So he was able to establish himself for good at that position.

    Dravid batting in so many positions could be related to his very slow adaptation to the needs of the modern one-day game. He'd have obviously got sent in fairly low down the order if the top order had fired and the need was for the runrate to be maintained. It wasn't until the 1998/99 tour of New Zealand, and the 1999 World Cup, that he actually demonstrated that he had the ability to bat according to the situation in one-day cricket, although I never ever doubted his ability to come good. The second crisis would have been around 2001/2002 when the influx of the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj and Kaif meant that Dravid no longer could take his place for granted. In a side which had explosive batsmen, he needed to reinvent himself. Coincidentally, India's wicket-keeping experiments had failed, and he grabbed the opportunity to reinvent himself as a wicket-keeper batsman. It was also around this time that he started moving around (or was made to) in the batting order. He combined beautifully with the stroke players in the side and thus made himself invaluable. Every now and then of course, he would surprise us, with a strike rate of over 200!

    Two modern [and all-time?] greats, with identical looking numbers in tests and one-dayers. Bizarre, isn't it?
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 4:35 PM |
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