Sunday, January 18, 2009
ICC has just released its latest cricket rankings and it has created a furore in the world of cricket.On what basis have this been done nobody knows,but one thing is for sure it seemed as if they had some software developed on some computer ,entered the inputs of different parameters like batting averages ,bowling averages etc.pressed some button and whoa! .
A list of top 50 somethin batsmen and bowlers were listed out in some random sort of a way.It seems like the smart programmer didnt do his research properly and did a soccer like analysis of the gentleman's game where numbers dont give you the full picture.And a great batsman like Sachin had to languish at 26th spot.My problem starts with the number one spot itself.
The Don yes maybe the finest batsman that the world has saw but he is not great by means.Sample this he has played only close to 50 matches and that too against only one team i.e. England.Now consider the same thing in the present scenario where a Lara has only to play against Sri lanka or a sachin against Australia or even a Sehwag against Pakistan consider where their averages would be .A batsman is tested by the variety of pitches he plays on and the multi dimensional attacks he has to face .For e.g. a batsman like Ponting is brutal against the quickies but bring on the spinners on a dust bowl and he will struggle .
Hence Bradman playing against only England and that too in England proves he has good technique against swing bowling and short pitched stuff but what about the spinners,how good was he at that ,we dont know and we will never know.Hence a guy like him should never have been included in such analysis.But take Dravid or even a Sehwag has scored against every opposition and in every country.That shows true batsmanship.
And considering the age they play on where teams dissect each player to the bare minimum ,it is no mean feat.This is only some of the minor flaws in the rankings.Others include placing Wasim Akram(above 100 tests) beneath Dale Steyn(30 tests) who only recently has struck form.You couldnt compare a career of 18 long years with someone who has just played 5 years.It takes consistent performance,good fitness and tough mental agility and variations to outsmart a batsman who has a pretty good idea of what you are going to bowl and that too on sub-continent wickets.Hence I think ICCs rankings has been nothing but a farce.
However as they say that Greats can never be measured by yardsticks scales,stats,figures but by courage ,consistency,sportmanship and above all love for the Gentleman's game