Brian Lara vs Sachin Tendulkar
Comparing any batsman with Sachin Tendulkar based on statistics is futile as Sachin has broken every aggregate record such as the highest number of runs and the highest number of centuries. He has played more Test matches and more ODIs than any other player and given his consistency, owns virtually every record. During the ICC World Cup 2019, Saurav Ganguly, who was a commentator at the event, was asked: “If such players as Lara, Ponting and Kallis are spoken of in the same breath as Sachin Tendulkar, how come they don’t have comparable statistics?” Ganguly’s answer was simple: “Sachin, unlike Lara, Kallis and Ponting, played a lot of cricket on flat Indian wickets”. He also said that Tendulkar had benefited from opening the innings in ODIs.
Brian Lara vs Sachin Tendulkar Comparison
Ganguly gave an honest answer. Having played all his cricket alongside Tendulkar and shared the partnership records with the great batsman, he would have no reason to believe that anybody other than Sachin could be considered better than him or even spoken of in the same breath. We find Ganguly’s answer very interesting and would like to do a statistical experiment based on his comment.
Lara has scored 11953 runs in 131 Test matches at an average of 52.88 with 34 tons and 48 half-centuries, including the top score of 400 not out. Tendulkar has made 15921 runs from 200 Test matches at an average of 53.78 with 51 tons and 68 half-centuries, including his top score of 248 not out. If we remove all the matches played by both players on Indian wickets, their statistics seem almost identical: Lara would have 10951 runs from 114 Tests at an average of 55.59 with 32 tons and 42 half-centuries, while Tendulkar would have 8705 runs from 106 matches at an average of 54.74 with 29 tons and 36 half-centuries.
Lara has played 299 ODIs in which he has scored 10405 runs at an average of 40.48 with 19 centuries and 63 half-centuries. Tendulkar has scored 18426 runs from 463 ODI matches at an average of 44.83 with 49 tons and 96 half-centuries. When we remove matches played on Indian wickets from the equation, Lara would have 9363 runs from 257 matches at 42.17 with 19 tons and 57 half-centuries, whereas Tendulkar would have 11450 runs from 299 matches at 43.04 with 29 tons and 58 half-centuries.
The uncanny resemblance in the numbers, if removed the stats relating to Indian wickets, shows how perceptive Saurav Ganguly’s answer was. The difference in the number of centuries in ODIs is accounted for by the batting positions of the two batsmen.
Overseas Records Against Regular Test Sides
In Australia, Lara has scored 1469 runs in 19 matches at 41.97 with 4 tons and 4 half-centuries compared to Sachin’s 1809 runs scored in 20 matches at 53.20 with 6 tons and 7 half-centuries.
In England, Lara has scored 1268 runs in 15 matches at 48.76 with 4 tons and 6 half-centuries. In comparison with him, Sachin has scored 1575 runs in 17 matches at 54.31 with 4 tons and 8 half-centuries.
In New Zealand, Lara has scored 406 runs in 7 matches at 36.90 with one ton and 3 half-centuries, while Sachin has scored 842 runs in 11 matches at 49.52 with 2 tons and 5 half-centuries.
In Pakistan, Lara has scored 626 runs in 7 matches at 48.15 with 2 tons and one half-century in comparison with Sachin who has scored 483 runs in 10 matches at 40.25 with one ton and 2 half-centuries.
In South Africa, Lara has scored 841 runs in 9 matches at 46.72 with 2 tons and 5 half-centuries, while Sachin has scored 1161 runs in 15 matches at 46.44 with 5 tons and 3 half-centuries.
In Sri Lanka, Lara has scored 706 runs in 4 matches at 100.75 with 3 tons and one half-century compared to Sachin’s 1155 runs scored in 12 matches at 67.94 with 5 tons and 4 half-centuries.
In the West Indies, Tendulkar made 620 runs in 10 matches at 47.69 with one ton and 5 half-centuries. Lara made the bulk of his runs in the West Indies with 6217 runs in 65 matches at 58.65 with 17 tons and 26 half-centuries.
From their respective overseas records, we can conclude that Tendulkar was a more consistent player with a regular string of tons and half-centuries regardless of where he played. Brian Lara was more of an impact player and had many longer innings to his credit. For instance, Lara had 9 double-hundreds, a triple-hundred and a quadruple-hundred in Tests, as opposed to Tendulkar who had six double-hundreds, with the highest score of 248 not out but no triple- or quadruple-hundreds.
Overseas Records Against Strong ODI Sides
In Australia, Brian Lara scored 1901 runs in 52 matches at 40.44 with 4 tons and 13 half-centuries, while Sachin had 1491 runs from 47 matches at 34.67 with one ton and 10 half-centuries.
In England, Lara made 714 runs in 24 ODI games at 37.57 with 5 half-centuries and Tendulkar scored 1051 runs in 26 matches at 43.79 with 3 tons and 4 half-centuries.
In New Zealand, Lara made 413 runs in 11 games at 45.88, with 4 half-centuries compared to Tendulkar’s 821 runs in 22 games at 39.09 with one ton and 5 half-centuries.
In Pakistan, Lara made 465 runs in 12 matches at 42.27 with one ton and 3 half-centuries in comparison with Tendulkar who made 480 runs n 13 matches at 36.52 with 2 tons and one half-century.
In South Africa, Lara had 729 runs in 22 games at 38.36 with 3 tons and 2 half-centuries, while Sachin made 1453 runs in 40 matches at 38.23 with 4 tons and 6 half centuries.
In Sri Lanka, Lara made 401 runs n 8 matches at 57.28 with one ton and 3 half-centuries and Sachin had 1571 runs in 44 matches at 42.52 with 5 tons and 6 half-centuries.
In the West Indies, Sachin made 282 runs in 9 matches at 47.00 with three half-centuries. Lara made the bulk of his runs in home matches with 3224 runs in 91 matches at 44.16 with 6 tons and 20 half-centuries.
Interestingly, Lara had a better ODI record in Australia and New Zealand where Tendulkar enjoyed a better Test average. Lara had an equally good record against Sri Lanka in Tests and ODIs. Lara had a better record (however, slightly) in both Tests and ODIs in Pakistan. Tendulkar had a better average in both Tests and ODIs in England. Tendulkar had only one international ton scored in the West Indies, though he had a better average in ODIs. In South Africa, both batsmen had similar averages in both ODIs and Tests.
Brian Lara vs Sachin Tendulkar Records
As we have already stated earlier in this article, Sachin Tendulkar owns virtually every aggregate record in international cricket. He has scored more runs than any other batsman in Test cricket as well as in ODIs. He has scored more centuries than any other player in Tests as well as in ODIs. Back in 2012, cricket fans around the world were agog with anticipation after Sachin had got his 99th international hundred. Tendulkar’s moment finally arrived in March 2012 at Dhaka, Bangladesh, during the Asia Cup held there. Playing against the hosts in the fourth match of the competition, India batted first. In the company of Gautam Gambhir at the top of the order, Tendulkar reached his destination with 114 off 147 balls. Riding on Sachin’s knock, India posted a total of 289/5. Though Bangladesh managed to chase it down, earning a rare win against India in the process, Sachin’s feat took centre stage. Tendulkar became the first cricketer to score a hundred international centuries.
Brian Lara had brilliant results in Tests thanks to some marathon innings. In April 1994, at St John’s against England, Lara broke Garry Sobers’ long-standing record for the highest score of 365 in Tests. Lara made 375 to set a new mark. (Incidentally, in the same year, Lara also established the record for the highest first-class innings of 501 not out which he scored against English county Durham). Nine years later, in October 2003, Australian opener Matthew Hayden scored 380 against the visiting Zimbabwe team to shatter the record. The innings that had defined Lara’s legacy to international cricket was consigned to anonymity. Six months later, Brian Lara got his revenge. In April 2004 at St John’s, the same venue where he had set his previous mark, against the same rivals, England, Lara set about crafting an innings and a record that was likely to last the test of time. He scored 400 not out in a West Indian score of 751/5 declared to become the first player to hit a quadruple century in Test cricket.
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