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Sachin vs Laxman vs Australia

October 19, 2010 5 comments

It has been quite some time since people have been discussing the Laxman effect on Australia and how Laxman and not Sachin is more effective against the aussies. Its high time to put things in perspective and I personally feel that facts and figures would be the best way to do it. Lets discuss the time period between November 1996 (when Laxman debuted) and the present.

All stats are courtesy cricinfo.com. They are up to date as of 19th October 2010 and do not include data of any match played thereafter. The stats cover only the test matches and not the ODIs

Performance against all Countries:-

Sachin Tendulkar

11319 runs at an average of 58.04 with 39 centuries

He has got 5 man of the series awards – 3 against Australia (2 at home the 1997/98 and the 2010/11 series and the 1999/00 away series ) and one each against England and Bangladesh

11 MOM  awards, 5 times against the aussies(3 away and 2 home)

VVS Laxman

7490 runs at an average of 47.4 with 16 centuries.

A single man of the series award against New Zealand in 2003-04 home series.

4 MOM awards, twice against the aussies (Both home).

Now lets take performace against the Aussies alone i.e. the Border Gavaskar Trophy-

Sachin Tendulkar

2773 runs at an average of 66.02 with 9 centuries

At home, 1619 @ 67.45 with 5 centuries

Away, 1154 @ 64.11 with 4 centuries

Featured in 11 wins – 1205 @ 66.94 with 4 centuries

9 losses – 924 @ 54.25 with 3 centuries

5 draws – 644 @ 92.00 with 2 centuries

VVS Laxman

2279 runs at an average of 55.58  with 6 centuries

At home, 1198 @ 57.04 with 2 centuries

Away, 1081 @ 54.05 with 4 centuries

Featured in 9 wins – 1077 @ 71.80 with 2 centuries

10 losses – 557 @ 27.85 with 2 centuries

6 draws – 644 @ 107.50 with 2 centuries

From the above stats and figures – one thing is very clear. Sachin has been scoring heavily both at home and away and much more than Laxman.

Then, why does Laxman play in the mind of Aussie captains at any given moment? Here’s why –

The difference between batting average achieved in Winning and Lost causes is 12.69 in Sachin’s case. The number becomes 43.95 for Laxman. This means that Laxman’s contribution to the score makes a larger impact on the result. This could also be interpreted in another way – Irrespective of the situation , Sachin contributes, but when other batsmen like Laxman also start contributing, then a WIN is ensured.

I personally feel Aussies too will be worried about Laxman’s contribution  in a similar way. They know in the back of their minds that everything said and done, Sachin is gonna perform, but if Laxman gets going, then they are done for. In other words, though Sachin’s wicket would be the most prized one, if they ensure that Laxman gets out cheaply, then all doors are closed for India.

Another argument I have heard is that Sachin doesn’t perform well in the 2nd innings. This is true to an extent – while Sachin averages 86.04 in the first innings , he averages only 41.78 in the 2nd innings.

The same averages for Laxman are 52.41 and 60.05 respectively.

I personally feel both innings are important – while you need someone in the 2nd innings to play well and finish the match for you, more often than not, it is the first innings lead or deficit that decided the result of the match. In other words, if you score heavily in the 1st innings, you in a way ensure that your team will at least get away with a draw if not a win.

Some other factors we need to consider are:-

1)  Sachin had already played a good 6-7 years of international cricket at the time Laxman was making his debut. This would make Sachin more acclimatised to foreign conditions as well as some of the bowlers of his era who were completely new to Laxman.

2) Sachin has always had the pressure of expectations from a billion people whereas this is not the same with Laxman. At the same time, to give due credit to Laxman, batting 4 down or 5 down, Laxman has been made to carry the pressure of finishing the innings as well as batting alongside tailenders.

3) Though we are strictly discussing performance against Aussies,  it takes something to perform exceptionally well in all the matches against all other oppositions (being played in between the Border Gavaskar Trophy) both at home and away and Sachin has done that more consistently than Laxman.

So, all in all, both Sachin and Laxman are two batting legends who have been Australian team’s chief nemeses for the past decade or so.  For the moment, lets not bother about who the numero uno IS. It is something which the aussies have to bother about.

Is the majority always right?

October 11, 2010 9 comments

No, this article has got nothing to with the democratic way of choosing a government in a country. In fact, when it comes to keeping a population of the order of millions or billions happy, there is nothing better or fairer than a majority.

What am I hinting at here?  The millions of decisions taken on a daily basis the world over in boardroom meetings and closed room discussions, where the majority is mistaken for correctness.  The majority could be right and more often than not, they are. But there is always a chance that the so-called minority is right.

In mathematical terms, if we define the problem as P (E) = percentage of people predicting that the event would occur. That means, in our case, if a group of people are sitting about predicting/suggesting the outcome of a certain event, the P (majority)>0.5>P (minority) and all of us would tend to agree that the event the majority predicted/suggested is more likely to occur. But probability is just that and the other event could also occur. Once the other event DOES occur, then P(minority) becomes 1 and P(majority) becomes 0.

There are three types of problems where I find this dilemma could come into picture:-

1)      SCIENTIFIC THEORIES: – Since ages we have been seeing that on most of the discoveries and theories, the society of scientists has remained divided.  Galileo Galilei and earlier Nicolaus Copernicus were the first to prove that earth revolved round the sun and not vice-versa. They were ridiculed by other scientists and philosophers. Galileo was also kept under house arrest for that matter.  Kepler also tried to prove it. It was not until the time of Newton when finally the theory was proven.  Galileo and Copernicus were wrong in a way as they said that sun was the centre of the universe, but that is still better than saying “earth is the centre of the universe”.

Scientific theories usually have to do with inertia and scientists in spite of their superior knowledge and education tend to discard new ideas and theories. One can say that any scientific theory could be supported by majority or by minority scientists. But ultimately, to be PROVEN correct, it has to be proved by strong empirical evidence or still better theoretical proof.

2)      DECISIONS DECIDING THE FUTURE OF AN ORGANISATION OR PERSON: – Here I am talking of those courtroom decisions and important strategic decision by companies. Often it so happens that a person comes up with an idea and gives arguments to support his theory. On the basis of his argument, he would like to garner support from the majority and push his case through. I would recommend a CONSENSUS here rather than a majority. A consensus means that the person has to get the support of each and every person. We are thus putting the decision of any single person to test to the greatest extent.  It might not guarantee the correct decision but at least we have tried our best.  The trial by Jury in US is a great example of this. I would recommend the movie ‘Twelve Angry Men’ for all those who have not watched it.

3)      DECISIONS REGARDING PERSONAL CHOICES OR OPINIONS: – BY personal choices, I mean the ‘n’ number of decisions we make or views we have on certain topics, books, movies, views about a personality etc.  Many decisions on ETHICS are also personal and a majority can’t always decide what is right or wrong for you. Some common crimes like murder of a human being are generally disapproved by the majority, or rather almost the whole population. But when it comes to killing other animals, the reference point of the matter and the argument changes for many and the majority shifts.

The majority here is very subjective and highly dependent on the group or the sample we are discussing and might not represent the views of absolute majority.  Let us take for example VEGETARIANISM. A vegetarian in a group with majority vegetarians can easily pin down a non vegetarian if he tries to argue against vegetarianism. Likewise, a vegetarian arguing against a majority of non-vegetarians would find it very difficult and would soon run out of arguments. No single person can be declared right or wrong here.

The same is true in the case of views on let’s say, a particular super hit movie.  Just because the movie was a hit or it appealed to the masses does not necessarily mean that the movie was well made. It might have been lifted from elsewhere or in some cases – the director might have held the audience ransom to a singular emotion or feeling barring which the movie would have lacked content. The majority would get away by saying that the movie was liked by all but in due time or in some case, even a generation later, the minority would be proved right. What I am saying is the next generation might find out flaws in the movie’s arguments or generally find the movie to be lacking quality irrespective of the reception it got on release. The opposite has happened in case of the now CULT CLASSIC Andaz Apna Apna. The movie was a definite flop when it released – in short, the majority didn’t want to watch the movie. But on being released on video, people eventually realized what a great movie it was and now almost everyone swears by the movie. As far as movies are concerned I have found myself on both sides.

Thus, it is not to say that majority should not be taken seriously, but what I am saying is think twice the next time someone tries to convince you by saying he/she is in the majority and you are not. What say guys?

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