By Mudit Batra
Now, that the world will see no more of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar in the blue Indian jersey, everyone is talking how great a player he was, giving him titles, and stating him as the best player there ever was. But is Sachin Tendulkar really the best? Has he really beaten everyone to be called the best?
Let’s look at the no. of runs, and as we all know it, Sachin has outrun everyone, but also look at the no. of tests played by him, a staggering 200. The closest batsman is Ponting who is 32 behind, and in terms of runs he has scored 13.378. So perhaps a better way to compare is averages, Sachin has an average of 53.71, and the best is of Bradman who has the average of 99.94. Comparing averages of other top players like Kallis in tests is 55.44, and pointing has an average of 51.85, so Sachin doesn’t really stand out, but he is surely among them. Though, you need to take in consideration is that Sachin has an average of above 50 over 24 years. Sachin did top the ICC batting rating table 5 times in his vast career.
The ICC measures a player’s greatness by measuring his performance at the peak of his career. The ICC player ratings allow you to do this by valuing each player’s performance based on various circumstances in a match, such as level of run-scoring and the standard of opposition. ICC gave Sachin his highest rating in 2001; he was awarded a score of 898 after a test against Zimbabwe. But that is only the 29th highest. Bradman again leads the way with 961 awarded to him after a test against India in 1948. Kallis, Lara, Sangakara all have a rating above 900.
Another yardstick of measuring a player’s value is Impact Index measures; here also Sachin is beaten by Rahul Dravid, who has eight series defining performances, whereas Sachin has six.
But to sum it up all these yardsticks don’t measure the style, the elegance, the intent with which Sachin played. The class he had like none other, maybe he wasn’t able to win many matches for India but he surely does win the hearts of all Indians. There is no one who can be compared with this cricket legend, he is a great ambassador of cricket and always will be.