Was MAK Pataudi almost as good as Sobers?

Following article is based on Inputs from www.impactindexcricket.com/

Impact Index is an alternative statistical system in cricket created by Jaideep Varma in 2009. The system measures the contribution of each player in the context of the impact that he has on the match, compared to the standard cricket statistics of batting average and bowling averaged or strike rate. It compares each player’s performance to the other 21 players in the match, and for career assessments, it assigns a value of each player’s performance of between 0 and 5. In 2009 it became a part of Wisden India. Over the years, this system has been the most covered analytics system in cricket by the media.

The quality of a batsman’s performance is measured on a variety of parameters: Pressure Impact, Partnership Building Impact, Runs Tally Impact, Strike Rate Impact, New Ball Impact, Chasing Impact, Batting Impact, Failure Rate (Batting), Series Defining Performance etc. To find out India’s highest impact test batsmen of all time, 50 Tests – a number roughly based on the correlation between series-defining performances in all of Test history and number of matches played by those players were taken into consideration by Impact Index.

Rahul Dravid produced the highest impact performances (in a series context) with only Inzamam-ul-Haq having the same number of series-defining (SDs) performances as him (8). In the period between 2001 and 2006, Dravid was the second-highest impact batsman in the world; second-highest batting consistency in Indian Test history; highest Runs Tally Impact (proportion of runs made in every match relative to the match standard, with a higher value on “tough runs”) and Partnership-Building Impact in Indian cricket history; fourth-highest Pressure Impact (of falling wickets) after Viswanath, Chandu Borde and VVS Laxman. He even has the fourth-highest New Ball Impact (ability to see off the new ball) – three batsmen who are ahead of him are – Sunil Gavaskar, Gautam Gambhir and Navjot Sidhu.

 

For many youngsters MAK Pataudi could be just ‘father of  Actor Saif Ali Khan’  But ….One of India’s greatest captains, MAK Pataudi, was a very good batsman as evidenced from the statistics of Impact Index. In the history of Test cricket (minimum 40 Tests), no batsman in the world has absorbed more pressure (of falling wickets) in his career than MAK Pataudi. Judging by the impressive figures, there is no doubt he would have gone on to achieve more greatness if not for the unfortunate accident in which he lost one eye six months before his Test debut. During his peak years (1964-68), he was the third-highest impact batsman in the world (min. 20 Tests) after Garry Sobers and Bob Simpson. In fact, thanks to his ability to absorb pressure, if 40 Tests are kept as the minimum, he comes up as the seventh-highest impact Indian Test batsman ever. Interestingly, his high failure rate of 50% is not compatible with this stellar quality he had, and was the world’s best at.

Navjot Sidhu was India’s most underrated batsman in Tests and ODIs according to Impact Index. His high New Ball Impact and Partnership Building Impact highlight his effectiveness as an opener, and is also the fifth highest-impact batsman Indian Test history. The primary reason for him being a high-impact player are the 2 series-defining performances in the total of 51 Tests he played for India. One of them was against Sri Lanka in 1993 (82 and 104) and the other performance being against Australia in 1998 (62 and 64). The surprising fact is he only played 51 Tests in his career which lasted around 16 years. The quality of a batsman’s performance, for instance, is measured on a variety of parameters: Pressure Impact, Partnership Building Impact, Runs Tally Impact, Strike Rate Impact, New Ball Impact, Chasing Impact, Batting Impact, Failure Rate (Batting), Series Defining Performance etc.

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