Younis in elite club

He became the first Pakistan batsman to reach the landmark of 10,000 Test runs, and the 13th overall.

Pakistan’s Younis Khan celebrates after reaching his 10,000th Test run.   -  AFP

Younis Khan commenced his Test tour of West Indies (ongoing) with a measured 58 off 138 balls. During that innings, Younis scored a boundary off Roston Chase with one of his trademark sweep shots when on 22, to become the first Pakistan batsman to reach the landmark of 10,000 Test runs, and the 13th overall. You can be sure that Younis is not one of those people who associates the number of 13 with any sort of misfortune. Coming into this series, Younis had already announced his retirement, and needed just 23 runs to achieve the 10,000-run milestone and end his career on a high.

This is a good chance to compare the batsmen in the 10,000 run club (the “Club”) on parameters other than the runs they have scored to see where they stand, vis-à-vis each other. Let us look at the following:

(i) Batting Average: Only two of the 13 batsmen in the Club have a batting average below 50. Mahela Jaywardene just missed out with an average of 49.84, while Alastair Cook’s average of 46.45 is by far the worst in the Club. Sangakkara has the best average (57.40), followed by Jacques Kallis (55.37), Sachin Tendulkar (53.78) and Brian Lara (52.88).

(ii) Batting Strike Rate: Most of the batsmen in the Club, began their careers prior to 1990, and complete balls-faced data is not available for that period. While strike rate is not a significant factor in Test cricket, it does provide us with some indication of a batsman’s dominance. It is therefore not surprising that this list is topped by Lara (60.51), who is the only batsman in the club with a 60-plus strike rate. Next best in the list are Ricky Ponting (58.72), Sangakkara (54.19) and Tendulkar (54.04). The players with the poorest strikes are also on expected lines — Allan Border (41.09), Rahul Dravid (42.51) and Shivnarine Chanderpaul (43.31).

(iii) Most Hundreds: Sachin Tendulkar’s exploits in this domain require no reiteration, with 51 of his 100 international hundreds coming in the Test format. Not far behind are Kallis (45) and Ponting (41). The only batsman in the Club with less than 30 hundreds is Border, with 27 hundreds. However, Border has made 90 scores of 50 or more. Younis’ overall tally of 67 scores of 50 of more is by far the fewest for any batsman in the Club, with Gavaskar’s 79 such scores being the next fewest.

(iv) Conversion Ratio: Younis is the only batsman in the Club to have scored more hundreds than fifties. He has scored 34 hundreds and 33 fifties. The batsman in the Club with the next best conversion ratio is Kallis, who has 45 hundreds and 58 fifties (1.28 fifties per hundred), followed by Gavaskar (1.32) and Tendulkar (1.33). As you may imagine from the previous metric, Border has the worst conversion ratio (2.33).

The only batsman to feature in the top-five of each of the above four metrics is Sachin Tendulkar.

The 10,000 Run Club

PlayerSpanMatRunsHSAve10050
S. R. Tendulkar1989-201320015921248*53.785168
R. T. Ponting1995-20121681337825751.854162
J. H. Kallis1995-20131661328922455.374558
R. Dravid1996-20121641328827052.313663
K. C. Sangakkara2000-20151341240031957.43852
B. C. Lara1990-200613111953400*52.883448
S. Chanderpaul1994-201516411867203*51.373066
M. Jayawardene1997-20141491181437449.843450
A. R. Border1978-19941561117420550.562763
A. N. Cook2006-20161401105729446.453053
S. R. Waugh1985-20041681092720051.063250
S. M. Gavaskar1971-198712510122236*51.123445
Younis Khan2000-20171171004131352.843433

 

Q&A
  • Royal Challengers Bangalore (“RCB”) is clearly having a terrible IPL season. Will it be fair to say that, in terms of its batting, it has followed up its best season with its worst?
  • Saurav Samaddar, Kolkata, West Bengal
  • That would be largely accurate Saurav. It is true that RCB’s batsmen had an outstanding season in 2016, led by Virat Kohli’s almost unbelievable 973 runs, ably assisted by AB de Villiers, who made 687 runs. The fact that both of them scored their runs at a 50-plus average and a 150-plus strike rate helped take RCB’s overall run-rate in the 2016 season to 9.62, by far its best for any season. Its current run rate is 7.35, its joint-worst along with the 2009 season (which was played in South Africa). In the 2016 season, it scored a boundary every 4.90 balls, its second best after the 2015 season (4.88 balls). The 2017 season is its second worst in this regard (7.18) after the 2009 season (7.22).
  • Kolkata Knight Riders (“KKR”) and Mumbai Indians (“MI”) seem like the best teams in the current IPL by a long way. If either team manages to win the tournament, will the team own the record for the most IPL victories?
  • — Rijoy Bhaumik, New Delhi
  • Your observation is correct Rijoy. No team has currently won the IPL three times, with three teams having done this twice each — Chennai Super Kings (2010 and 2011), KKR (2012 and 2014) and MI (2013 and 2015). If either KKR or MI manage to emerge victorious, the team will certainly hold the record for the most IPL wins. However, Sunrisers Hyderabad (at least based on current standings) will probably have something to say about your assertion that KKR and MI have been the best teams by far.
  • I read that if Pakistan beat West Indies in the ongoing Test series, it will be the first time that it beat West Indies in West Indies. Is this true, and is there any country where India has never won a Test series?
  • — Dhananjai Hari, Hyderabad, Telangana
  • It is true that Pakistan has never previously won a series in West Indies. It has also never won a series in Australia or South Africa. India too has never won a series in Australia or South Africa. However, India has now won four Test series in the West Indies, though its latest win in 2016 by a 2-0 margin was the first time that it won more than one Test in a series there.
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