Sometimes I wonder ….

We (as in India) are said to be long struggling with an opening combination. And if most people say so, its probably right. And I don’t delve into statistics too deeply but a lot of people do.

So here’s a quiz question. (I know the answer incidentally. Ha !).

Sunil Gavaskar. 125 Tests. 10,122 runs. 34 centuries in 214 innings. I’ll repeat that. 34 centuries.

The question is this :

How many of his opening partners got a century in the same innings that Sunny Gavaskar got a century ?

(We know that Chetan Chauhan was his partner for a really long time and we know the record that he holds, so it follows that the answer will be quite a low number, but yet, it surprised me).

The next question (and more important, in my view)  is : Does it mean anything at all ?

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7 thoughts on “Sometimes I wonder ….

  1. Kris Srikkanth’s first test century happened in Oz in 84 or was it 86. India made 630 odd for 4.
    Did Sunny score a century also?

  2. What is seems to suggest – and lets look back even before SMG…… is that SMG is an anomaly – a great freak anomaly. Before SMG came along, India’s most notable opening batsmen (after Messrs. Roy and Apte, and Mr. Mankad before them in the 50’s – this takes us all the way back to Mr. Merchant!), were Farokh Engineer and Budhi Kunderan…..

    You give me a great idea for a post SFX……. with your permission…… may i work on it? 🙂

  3. Please do, Kartikeya. I know you’ll do it a lot more justice than I will. And I think I know already that at least on this one we’re on a similar plane.
    The idea started with that Cricinfo piece this morning on the times that two wicketkeepers played together but there are a number of different tangents to it.

    I’d appreciate your doing a piece on it. And am assuming it does justice to the history of it all – plus the root of my question – which is this whole opening combination debate. Are we searching for a replacement for something which as you so wonderfully put it is actually a “great freak anomally”…

    Cheers !

  4. Oh – and Anon & Kartikeya,

    You’re both right, of course.

    India’s looking for the great opening combination since Sunny Gavaskar’s retirement but the fact is that whenever Sunny scored a century, there is only one other instance in history of his opening partner managing similar….

  5. Guys, I don’t how this is relevant to the search for great openers. What we should be looking for is opening partnerships featuring SMG and comparing with other partners, not both getting centuries. The truth is that when SMG was there, India was only searching for a partner to SMG but now we searching for two openers alllll the time. I thought the arrival of VS had at least reduced it to search-for -a-partner-to-VS but now we are back to square one.

  6. Prabu,

    Honestly, I don’t know if its relevant either. Stats in themselves can hardly ever say it all. There’s always scope for debate, I guess.

    But here’s a question then …
    Chetan Chauhan and SMG had 10 opening century partnerships (59 innings). CC had no 100s in 40 tests. 31.54 avg. Is that good enough ? Or even close? Or just pure reflected glory? Would someone like that last ten Tests today?

    Again, I’m just thinking aloud …

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