Posts Tagged ‘sachin tendulkar’

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 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.


Left or right?

August 29, 2010 6 comments

Ever wondered why you use one hand more than the other or for that matter, why are you right handed? Yes, I am confident that most of you readers are right handed and hence the earlier question- why RIGHT handed. Less than 10% of people around the world are left handed. Sorry lefties!!! Most of the further discussion would be from the perspective of righties!!!! ‘Us’ would mostly mean righties!!!

The majority of tools and equipments are suited for right handers, more than left handers. The door knobs are one such example though these days I myself have seen a number of left handed knobs. The taps and screws are another example which I find interesting. For us Indians, who usually eat with our hands, tap is not a problem as more often than not we have to open the tap with our left hand. But imagine tightening a screw or capping a bottle. Right now, to tighten the screws, you follow a clockwise direction – remember – tightening requires more pressure and accuracy most of the times and you would like to have your hand in a comfortable position for the same. To loosen the screw, only the initial jerk is necessary and the rest of the action is pretty straight forward. Yes, clockwise is much more comfortable than anticlockwise while tightening and vice-versa. The primary reason is the set of muscles in our hand involved. You can refer to supination (for clockwise movement) and pronation (for anti clockwise) for the details of muscle movements.

Another tool is the scissor. Most scissors are for right handed people – handle blade and all. A right handed scissor is one when you hold while cutting, the hand having the thumb faces outside. For lefties, this could be a problem, even if the screw is a little loose as all control is lost.

Lefties also face another problem – that of writing. Usually most of the lefties hold their pen/pencil in a peculiar fashion. They are forced to do it because otherwise, they might smear the ink of the previous letter written with their own hand. This is true for most of the written languages.

In sports, handedness plays a major role. Let’s take cricket – India’s favourite sport. Though bowling and fielding determines whether a person is righty or lefty, some people do wrongly believe that a left handed batsman is a lefty by birth. Actually, the terminology used should be top handed or bottom handed. Yes, a left handed batsman who is a righty by birth is top handed and a right handed righty is bottom handed. For top handed people, it is more like they are hitting a back hand shot (lets say in a game like tennis) with some support from the other hand. So if you are playing a game like tennis or badminton, your preference for backhanded shots might determine your preference in cricket. Now, which is better – being top handed or bottom handed? A left handed batsman has his dominant side – the right side facing the bowler which will give him more confidence. Not only that, there is this concept of right eyed and left eyed people i.e. a right eyed guy uses more of his right eye than the other. Most righties are right eyed and so on. So a top handed batsman would not only be using his dominant side, but can also see the ball more clearly with his dominant eye nearer to the ball. So he has more time than the bottom handed batsman and can execute his shots much better.

No prizes for guessing why Sourav Ganguly had such sweetly timed square cuts. Sachin Tendulkar is more of an enigma. I have read that he uses both hands and I have seen him autograph with his left hand. But I am not very sure if he has practiced that as he still bowls and throws with his right hand. In one particular match, I remember him trying to throw with his left hand and believe me it was not a pretty sight to watch. The ball somehow did reach the keeper’s gloves and the batsman of course couldn’t complete the single. But Sachin himself was all unbalanced and had thrust himself in the air.

Rafael Nadal is right handed but plays tennis with his left hand. It seems he used to play a double handed forehand. This gave his uncle and idea that Nadal could play left handed tennis. Now he  uses a double handed backhand too.

I guess this is enough for now. Read my next post to understand the science behind handedness.

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