Friday, October 26, 2012

Kumar Sangakkara- The Bias in Figures

They say in Life, the only figures that matters are the ones relating to Women, but in truth even those are irrelevant for we adore the fairer sex in what ever size or shape they come.

As we focus on their meaning in Cricket we come to a conclusion of their irrelevance with fans and pundits alike having a surreal view of them that embraces a farcical viewpoint with real bias.

If you need proof just look at the Modern day perception of Sachin Tendulkar being as good as Don Bradman or even in some eyes better than the immortal Don despite his career average being a good 44 runs less. If you accept that as a justified comparison based on the figures, well you would have to accept England's James Anderson laying claim to being the equal of Tendulkar with willow in hand. Seeing he shares the same 44 run differential in career average to Tendulkar as the great Indian does to Bradman......

1.2 billion Indians say it backed by the power of their massive press and fuelled by its immense financial clout in the Cricketing World. So excuse my insanity in the previous para and let me assess the figures by lending the eyes that rule the game and line the pockets of ones reporting on it.

Coming to the conclusion that Tendulkar is a God of Cricket with no one anywhere near his equal- talk of Don Bradman- pure poppycock!

Let me touch on this apparent bias again by bringing up a name that truly exposes it

In Sri Lanka's batting Master Kumar Sangakkara


I hear you all cry as your blank looks tell the tale that you have never heard of him

Excuse me embellishing, but there is a certain truth to the lack of respect and recognition for Sangakarra's place in the game.

Which seems in keeping with the lack of recognition given to anything Sri Lankan with them very much being treated like the kid in the classroom that never is recognised even in the face of their many exceptional accomplishments

Mainly because of their lack of financial might does not dictate them to be noticed and indeed lauded for their class.

Back to Sangakkara, a batsman that has a career average of 56.73 with 30 centuries which is truly exceptional in itself. But when you dig deeper into his figures you see that 81 of his 189 innings were affected by having the extra responsibility of wicket keeping. In the 108 innings when he has solely been a batsman his average leaps to 69.63 which is only bettered by one name in the games history in Don Bradman.

Enhancing his mastery further is the fact that amongst his 30 centuries he has scored 8 double tons which is third in the games history to a few handy names in Brian Lara and Don Bradman. Also it provides further testimony to his profound effect on games with his stamina in mind coupled with purity in technique  ensuring longevity and with it real legacy for oppositions.

It is hard to comprehend as to why he is rarely mentioned in conversations about the very best, but I guess it is because he is overlooked for it is taken for granted that he is just a given to perform. As Peter Roebuck remarks

Sangakkara is the superior batsman because he scores more runs more often and in times of need. Nor does he ever let the side down. Indeed, he has gone into battle on its behalf, on and off the field.

There is such a truth in Roebuck's Gospel too for Kumar with him being the surest bet in the game withhis all round record again the equal or better than any of the batsmen deemed great in the games history. He is often viewed as a flat track bully which stands out because of his exceptional record at home where he averages 63.06 with 18 centuries. But to counter this, show me a player that is not more effective at home? And when you view his figures away ( average 49.95 with 12 centuries ) it certainly does nothing to dispel the fact that he is an under stated all time great of the game

As an Aussie I love and loath Sanga. He's my favourite cricketer to watch, but fills me with terror when he play's the Aussies and walks to the crease. His 192 down in Tassie a few moons ago was one of the great knocks I've seen in this country chasing an unlikely 500+ score, and was only cut short by one of R. Kurtzen's all too many blunders.

Sounds more a tribute befitting one as fearsome as Viv Richards, but it belongs to Sangakkara, and in that realisation a truth is told of his greatness with the similar presence he exudes

Maybe the cricketing World should start buying into this reality and pay him the respect his Mastery so deserves!