Wednesday, January 14, 2009

on second thought, no, he was rubbish

A couple of footnotes to my previous post, and the bit about Matthew Hayden's retirement in particular:

The BBC Sport blog piece and its accompanying comments makes interesting reading, and sums up the general attitude of non-Australians to Hayden - respect for his intimidating aura at the crease and for his remarkable statistical achievements, but little affection, certainly far less than that afforded to Warne, Gilchrist and even Ponting.

One of the interesting things about Hayden is how few individually memorable innings he played. There are obvious exceptions to this; the double-century in a losing cause in Chennai in 2001, the pulverising 197 (and 103 in the second innings) in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in 2006, and of course the briefly record-holding 380 against Zimbabwe in Perth in 2003; also the fact of being in such a phenomenally successful team (where everyone else was knocking out centuries at will as well) diluted the individual impact of Hayden's contributions a bit as well. But there is some statistical backing for this theory - Hayden's 30 Test centuries (sixth on the all-time list) included a surprisingly paltry five scores over 150. When you compare this with some of his contemporaries you see a notable contrast:
PlayerCenturies150+ scores200+ scores150+ percentage"Average" century score
Matthew Hayden305216.67146.14
Ricky Ponting3712432.43175.83
Steve Waugh3214143.75255.41
Brian Lara3419955.88184.03
Sachin Tendulkar4117441.46215.96
Don Bradman29181262.07234.47

And yes, I know Bradman wasn't a contemporary, but it's obligatory to have him in any cricket list.

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