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Its scientifically proven: Bradman is the greatest batsman of all times
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Its scientifically proven: Bradman is the greatest batsman of all times

Don Bradman has always been considered the best batsman of all times in cricket - but now, it has been proven scientifically.


Sydney, Aug 15 : Don Bradman has always been considered the best batsman of all times in cricket - but now, it has been proven scientifically.

The new study included every variable that batting averages alone don't account for - different pitches, conditions, situations, technology, even different eras.

The academic study utilised formulas economists use to measure inequality.

"It's a bit sophisticated but most economics students could do it. It's just never been applied to cricket," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted John Mangan of the University of Queensland, as saying.

Mangan and Vani Borooah, of the University of Ulster, wanted to demonstrate new ways of assessing batsmen - with primary focus on Bradman.

"We started with the standard batting averages up to 2006 and introduced a whole list of different variants, including who they were playing against, what the conditions were and what the game situation was," Mangan said.

They also looked at contributions to the overall score, performances at home and away and performances in first and second innings.

"You'd expect that his average suffered in some way. We believe our method corrects for some of those problems," Mangan said.

Their first table uses the "Gini Coefficient" to combine batting average with scoring consistency.

The results indicate that Graeme Pollock, George Headley, Everton Weekes, Walter Hammond and Garfield Sobers moved down the list, while were Denis Compton, Steve Waugh, Andy Flower and Gilchrist climbed.

Another interesting table compares the percentage of runs each batsman contributed to team totals.

They found that Bradman, with 25 per cent, Headley (22 per cent), and Brian Lara (19 per cent) were the three highest contributors.

Of course, some performances can never be quantified. However, Mangan made some conclusions from his investigation.

"What we found overall was that the backs-to-the-wall batsmen fared well," he said.

Measurements shifted around the rankings of the world's elite batsmen. Except for one.

"It's remarkable, but Bradman was the only batsman who was virtually unchanged in every category," Mangan said.

"We tried to bring Bradman down a bit - he is a New South Welshman after all. But we couldn't do it, no matter what we brought in - first innings, second innings, wet, dry, in India, in England. Whatever we did, Bradman seemed to be the default best performer," he concluded.

The study is published in the Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports.

ANI

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