Home > Cricket > Sachin vs Laxman vs Australia

Sachin vs Laxman vs Australia

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.

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  1. Pratik Prakash
    October 19, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    Nice article! A refreshing new take on the whole issue 🙂

  2. Nikhil Joshi
    October 21, 2010 at 1:15 am

    Nice one!

  3. Nehal
    December 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    good writeup…

    btw Ramayan ki kahani suni hain ?? there were two brothers Ram aur Laxman… who slayed numerous demons….. all said and done ppl worship Ram and not Laxman….
    Sachin here is Ram…. rest i guess u get the point 🙂

    • December 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

      Yes. 🙂 Sachin ‘Ram’esh Tendulkar. And just like there are some temples dedicated to Lakshman in India, there are some VVS fans in Australia

  1. January 2, 2011 at 5:09 pm

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