Source : Times of India
MUMBAI: This should be music to 1.2 billion ears. Die-hard Indian cricket fans who rejoiced when Aussie great Sir Donald Bradman said in 1996 that Sachin Tendulkar reminded him of himself, now have every reason to be delirious. An Australian economist living in Gold Coast (Australia) has stated that it’s Tendulkar who is the greatest batsman of all time.
Griffith University researcher Nicholas Rohde has cited statistics to argue that Tendulkar is the greatest. Rohde, however, admitted that if he could go back in time, he would prefer to watch Bradman every time, every day.
Experts like Tony Greig, Ian Chappell and even India’s most hated coach Greg Chappell have argued that since Bradman had proved his greatness only in England and Australia and wasn’t subject to such intense video-analysis and scrutiny, Tendulkar could stake claim to being the greatest. Add the fact that the Don didn’t play one-day internationals and that argument isn’t without some merit.
Rohde said that by applying economic principles to batting performance, he has been able to rank players back through time. “People are welcome to disagree and there would be other statistical ways of looking at it which would give you different results,” he told Australian paper, The Daily Telegraph.
Rohde said his obsession with cricket led him to the idea of coming up with a ranking system, even if it did mean trying to marry an exciting commodity like sport with a rather dry and uninteresting muse like economics.
Bradman, despite never having played a single Test on Indian soil, was eulogized in pre-independent India because the colonized public felt his mastery over English bowlers made the Indians feel as if Bradman was waging a war for them. In fact, Bradman had himself admitted that the maximum fan mail he got was from India. Probably such hero worship till the time he passed away in February 2001 didn’t quite make the Indian public realize how great Tendulkar was. Rohde endorses that.
“I don’t see it as entirely trivial, but it isn’t an indisputable result either; it’s somewhere in the middle. My feeling is that devotion to Don Bradman probably robbed India of a national icon a little bit. And if you wanted my personal opinion on who was the better of the two, Bradman or Tendulkar, I would say that it was perhaps too close to call,” he said.
As a part of his calculation, Rohde took the total number of runs a batsman has scored in his entire career, and subtracted the number of runs that an average player of the same era would have scored if he had played the same number of innings.
He constantly updates the figures and calculates new ranking tables. “Bradman has been No. 1 until recently, but Tendulkar for the time being is just a little tiny bit ahead. No ranking system is definitive and people are always free to disagree, although I do feel it’s a fairly sensible and intuitive way to rank the players,” he said.
Nicholas Rohde’s list:
1. Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)
2. Don Bradman (Aus)
3. Jacques Kallis (SA)
4. Rahul Dravid (Ind)
5. Brian Lara (WI)
6. Gary Sobers (WI)
7. Allan Border (Aus)
8. Sunil Gavaskar (Ind)
9. Steve Waugh (Aus)
10. Javed Miandad (Pak)