The Bradman Benchmark

August 27th was the birthday of the great Sir Donald Bradman. His test average of 99.94 is the holy grail of cricket. It would make sense to use Don Bradman as a benchmark for batting. His performance is below

I ran his performances on my system. His total is 9,628 and his batting score is 9,276. I went through the numbers and I do not see any reason to adjust my weights and factors that I use for the players today. The problem though is how do I accurately compare Bradman’s performance to another player? Either I can take the first 52 games of a player and forget about the remaining. That though would not be fair for players. Sachin Tendulkar took less than eight years to notch up 52 tests. He played for four more years than Bradman but played 148 Tests more. The difference between Tendulkar’s career average and his first 52 is four runs more.

Tendulkar’s performance is below

Based on my index Tendulkar scored 4,274 batting points and 4,726 total points for the first 52 games. However; Tendulkar’s career points are 19,265 batting points and 20,693 total points.

I am open to ideas but the only way I can think of levelling the playing field is by annualising the scores. I started this index coming from an investment point of view. Considering this Bradman scores 19.29% and Tendulkar scores 5.09%. The way to think about this is Tendulkar would have given you back more but at a slower rate but Bradman would have given it to you at a faster rate.

Don Bradman’s points can easily be broken but his rate will be impossible to beat. If Tendulkar had to come close to Bradman then he would have had to score Two Quadrillion points instead of 20,693!!! Just to make things clear; Two Quadrillion is Two followed by 15 zeroes. 19.29% by Don Bradman will be the Icarian dream. The more realistic target would be 5.09% set by Sachin Tendulkar. The qualification would be 20 innings.

This would be with regard to batting. I intend to do a similar exercise for bowlers. Who do you think would be a bowler who would get you wickets irrespective of conditions. Two names that keep coming up in the top XI lists are Wasim Akram and Dennis Lillee. I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

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