He's not a bad one-day batsman, is he?
Yes, he's played 300-odd games. But that's perhaps 200 more than a a whopping majority of Indian cricket followers would have predicted for him when his one-day career came to a near standstill shortly after his 1(21) against Bangladesh
. The revival came during India's tour of New Zealand where he played a fair amount of shots over the infield without ever
looking ugly. Then came the 1999 World Cup. After that, no real looking back.
Today, he went past 10000 ODI runs, against Sri Lanka at Goa
The only others who've got more international runs than Rahul Dravid (19218) are Sachin Tendulkar (25450), Brian Lara (22089), Inzamam-ul-Haq (20478) and Ricky Ponting (19224). Point to be noted: Dravid and Ponting's numbers are identical, yet again!
Analyzing the numbers further, in terms of runs per innings in tests, the rankings are BC Lara (51.52), RT Ponting (51.19), R Dravid (50.41), SR Tendulkar (49.16) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (44.51). For ODIs, the rankings (runs per innings) are SR Tendulkar (39.95), RT Ponting (37.48), BC Lara (36.07), R Dravid (35.12) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (33.71). Inzamam's numbers are clearly inferior to the rest. So I'm going to drop him from the comparison.
The next analysis is a ratio of test runs to ODI runs. My personal preference is for test cricket. So a higher ratio is preferable. The rankings are BC Lara (1.18), RT Ponting (0.95), R Dravid (0.91) and SR Tendulkar (0.72). A similar analysis of test runs/innings to ODI runs/innings gives R Dravid (1.44), BC Lara (1.43), RT Ponting (1.37) and SR Tendulkar (1.23).
Then I assign a weightage for each player's test and ODI runs per innings numbers. This is how it turns out. If I rank ODI and test runs on par with each other, the rankings are SR Tendulkar (89.11), RT Ponting (88.67), BC Lara (87.59) and R Dravid (85.53). If I gave ODI runs a 75% weightage compared to test runs, the rankings are RT Ponting (79.30), SR Tendulkar (79.12), BC Lara (78.57) and R Dravid (76.75). If ODIs get 50% weightage compared to test runs, the rankings are RT Ponting (69.93), BC Lara (69.56), SR Tendulkar (69.14) and R Dravid (67.97). If ODIs get 25% weightage compared to test runs, the rankings are RT Ponting (60.56), BC Lara (60.54), R Dravid (59.19) and SR Tendulkar (59.15).
What this analysis tells me is that there's almost no real difference between the fearsome foursome. Ricky Ponting leads on just about every count, Brian Lara comes a very close second a lot of the time. But the margins are really wafer thin. When I normalize all the rankings for each weightage system, the highest gap is between Dravid (0.9597) and Tendulkar when ODI runs getting the same weightage as test runs. In the other three weightages, the gaps are Tendulkar (0.9767) v Ponting for the 25% weightage, Dravid (0.9719) v Ponting for the 50% weightage and Dravid (0.9678) v Ponting for the 75% weightage.
Lara is due to retire after the 2007 World Cup. Tendulkar could last for another 2 years at most. The two cricketing twins will keep making bowling attacks feel miserable for at least another half a decade! It'll be awesome to follow the race.
Previous stuff on Dravid: Highest batting avg
, Ponting and Dravid's similar stats
, comparing Ponting and Dravid in ODIs
, comparing Kallis, Ponting and Dravid
, second fastest to 8000 test runs
, most consecutive test appearances from debut
, second highest average among those with 7000 test runs
, combining well with Kumble
, century in each test playing nation
and drawing level with Gavaskar's catches count
Labels: 10000, batting, dravid, greats, inzamam, ponting, tendulkar