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Who is a True Match Winner?
by Chuck (Senior Member)
Nov 06, 2009

How to judge a true match winner? It’s difficult to point out a single person who can change a result of a single game, singlehandedly.
5th ODI (out of 7) of India vs Australia ended recently and homeside ended up on the wrong side of the stick yet again. However, if you see the scorecard now, you’ll see the Little Master aka Tendlya had scored a massive 175 runs chasing Australia’s 350. However, he didn’t manage to stay for the whole 50 overs and India ended up 4 runs short with 2 balls to spare. Must have been a great game to watch, but India would’ve expected to win in without worries when Tendulkar got going strongly.

When Tendlya scored 100 runs or more, India have won the game 25 out of 45 times (55.5%). This is almost ½ of the time and when considering a player of this caliber, it’s a weak statistic. No doubt he has been the greatest run getters of all time – scoring 30000 international runs within 20 year time span, his match-winning ability is doubtable at times. It’s not inappropriate to mention that he took couple of overs to get to 16999 to 17000 runs during this very game; also he has been out 17 times while he was in 90s and had cost India 7 matches (58% winning rate).

Lets compare Tendlya with another ‘senior member’ – Jayasuriya, the perfect example to be compared with. Sanath has 100% record of winning the match when he passed 100 (28 out of 28), which is remarkable. He will not only perform with the bat but also with the ball when he’s having a good day. Sri Lanka, as a team will perform completely a different way (with much more confidence) when Sanath got them a good start and specially got passed 100. In addition, Sri Lanka has won an ODI 70% of the time even he scored 50 runs or more.

Also, Aravinda de Silva has a record of 57% winning rate when he scored 50 runs or more and 58% winning rate for Arjuna Ranatunga. When Tendlya scored a 50 runs or more, India went past the winning line only just over 62% of the time, which is pretty close Arjuna and Aravinda even though Tendulkar is in a completely different class than both of them. Even Brian Lara has 63% of success rate when he scored a 50 or more, and we all know how many games he had a decent winning team.

It’s difficult to point out who’s a match winner and who’s not, but it’s pretty obvious that Sanath, Arjuna and Aravinda has an edge over Tendulkar when it comes to crunch chases and setting up winning totals. Of course there’re many bowlers who can influence a game’s result single handedly, well I’m not talking about those match-fixing cases – but Murali, McGrath and Vettori to name a few.
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