The economy may be slowing, and The Man himself may be taking his own sweet time to score his 100th international century. But at least Indians can take heart that it's finally been proven that Sachin Tendulkar, "the Little Master," is the Greatest Cricketer of All Time.
According to India's Hindu newspaper, Dr. Nicholas Rohde, an economist at Griffith University, has developed a mathematical formula to compare the cricketing greats of different eras and concluded that Tendulkar is, indeed, better than the late Sir Donald Bradman of Australia.
The 38-year-old Tendulkar has a world-record 15,183 runs from 184 Tests at an average of 56.02 since making his debut in 1989. Bradman, on the other hand, played 52 Tests from 1928 to 1948, scoring 6,996 runs at an astonishing average of 99.94. He died in 2001 aged 92.
Dr. Rohde said a theoretical analysis puts Tendulkar above Bradman. “The rankings are designed to allow for meaningful comparisons of players with careers of different lengths,” Dr. Rohde said. The rankings by the researcher have been created according to a player's career aggregate runs, minus the total number of runs that an average player of that era would accumulate over the same number of innings.
Once upon a time, I dared write a little paean to Tendulkar for the mostly American audience of GlobalPost. Of course, I didn't need any mathematical formulas to draw my conclusions.
Here's a little snippet:
Last month, Sachin staked perhaps his strongest claim yet to the title of the greatest batsman of all time with a brilliant performance against South Africa. Parrying and slashing the ball all over the field, he became the first player in the 39-year history of that form of the game to score 200 runs in a one day international, or ODI. But even though it was the cricketing equivalent to Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game in the NBA, it was not the statistical milestone — which joins Sachin's long and growing list — so much as the bold and seemingly effortless grace of the “knock” that converted nay-sayers. That's because unlike baseball, which it resembles in other ways, cricket does not reward power and bat speed so much as cleverness and control.