It has been said that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. And Test cricket is a good place to check this out.
After the conclusion of the India-South Africa series we ask Statsguru a few questions. The answers will not be what you expect.
Q1: Who is the best opening bowler in Tests in the 2010s?
A1: Consider all those who bowled at No 1 or 2 since 01 Jan 2010 and took at least 50 wickets while doing so, and rank them by their bowling averages.
Didn’t realize it was a spinner, did you?
Q2: OK, something more conventional. Who is India’s best opening bowler of all time?
A2: Consider all Indian bowlers who bowled at No 1 and No 2, and took at least 50 wickets while doing so. Rank them by their bowling averages.
Probably you should have seen that coming.
Q3: OK, but wasn’t Kapil Dev India’s greatest all-rounder?
A3: Let us consider all Indians who scored the double of 1000 runs/100 wickets, and rank by them by the difference between their batting average and bowling average. This measure is as good as any other means for ranking all-rounders.
Well, you should have seen that one coming too.
It is up to you to decide how seriously you take these figures.