Oct 112011

Selectors often are faced with a dilemma after a budding talent plays a few matches only to not justify his talent with his performances. To find out how much rope selectors have given players who have ended up perfoming quite well, I took out the figures of all batsmen who averaged above 40 for India (Qualifier – 20 matches). 14 players made the cut overall. Then the cumulative averages over their career were calculated to see how they fared with each test match.

First the current crop of batsmen who average above. Sachin, Sehwag and Dravid come in this club. As we see from the pic, Sachin consistently lifted his game over his formative years and broke into the 50s in his 29th match and except for a brief period never went into the 40s again till now.

Now the next rung of current batsmen who average above 40. Laxman’s case is the most interesting here. He underperfomed for nearly his first 40 matches but then turned the tide on its head after the 2001 australia series. The repeated chances that Laxman had been given have paid off and he is one of the most dependable players in the side.

Dada’s selection was an open and shut case following his classy performance in the debut series.

Here are the retired batsmen who averaged above 45. No surprises here – Both Azhar and Gavaskar had great performances in their initial matches.

Then the retired batsmen who averaged above 40. Here people who improved their performances over time considerably are Siddhu and Vengsarkar.

So it turns out that with the exception of Laxman and Siddhu, most players who averaged above 40 did do well in their initial years.