Monday, October 13, 2003

Is Hayden really No.1?

If you ask me who is the world's best batsman at present, I would obviously say Sachin Tendulkar. But if the choices were given to be Hayden and Lara, I would have no qualms in settling for Lara. However the number crunchers at Pricewater House Coopers who rank the batsmen based on their performance don't seem to agree.

The latest rankings place Hayden above everybody else, including Lara and Tendulkar. But the 380 that has propelled him into the top spot for the second time in his career is not the top ranked innings since 1990. That honor still goes to Lara's epic 213 against Australia at Kingston in 1999. Vangipurappu Venkata Sai's 281 is safe too at the second spot. Both these knocks rate higher apparently because of the bowling attack that they were made against - a full strength Australian attack.

The legitimacy of these two spots cannot be questioned. But the positioning of Hayden's knock over several others - notably Stephen Fleming's 274 against Murali this year at his best and that too at home, defies reason. Also ranking lower is Saeed Anwar's 188 n.o against India in 1999 - a knock that carries more significance (atleast in my eyes), because he carried his bat through the innings with Srinath running through the other end with the next highest scorer being Youhana with 56. Pakistan won the test ultimately by 46 runs. If that does not increase the value of an inning, what will?


I posted these questions for someone from the PWC site to answer me and they did within 12 hours of my post. Here's their reply....
See the FAQ for a discussion of how a batsman's innings is rated. As
to why Hayden is above Anwar....well, that's just the way the weightings
work out. If Anwar had scored 5 more runs in that innings, he'd have been above


Well, numbers.... I don't know !! The FAQ did not exactly help me, but I found a link on the FAQ to a site that explains the formulae behind the ratings. Maybe you can get some ideas...