BRADMAN – The 6,996th career Appreciation ever written

Our Don Bradman

Who is it that all Australia raves about?

Who has won our very highest praise?

Now is it Amy Johnson, or little Mickey Mouse?

No it’s just a country lad who’s bringing down the house!

Our Don Bradman

Now I ask you is he any good?

Our Don Bradman

As a batsman he can sure lay on the wood

Oh when he goes in to bat

He knocks every record flat

For there isn’t anything he cannot do

Our Don Bradman,

Every Aussie dips his lid to you!

Our Don Bradman

Now I ask you is he any good?

Our Don Bradman

As a batsman he is certainly “plum pud”

Tate and Larwood meet their fate,

For it’s always “shut the gate”

When the boy from Bowral hits four after four!

Our Don Bradman

What a welcome waits for you back home!

Released as Our Don Bradman by Art Leonard in 1930

 

At the time of his retirement from international cricket in 1948, Sir Donald Bradman had a record etched into folklore:

52 Tests    80 Innings 10 Not outs    6,996 runs    H.S. 334    29 100s    13 50s    Avge 99.94 (A figure subsequently immortalised as the Post Office Box number of the ABC in each Australian Capital city)

Then, his record placed him second amongst the highest test match run scorers, behind only England’s great, Walter Hammond, and as the leading scorer of Test Match 100s (His total of 12 200s and 2 300s (now shared with Lara, Gayle and Sehwag) are still world records 70 years later).

At the time of writing (November 2017) Bradman’s total Test Match runs scored has him sitting in 10th place all time … amongst Australian batsmen !! Overall his total runs scored has now been surpassed by another 46 batsmen from all Test playing nations (except Bangladesh and Zimbabwe), and sees him in 48th place in runs scored.

To attempt to measure where he now sits amongst the all-time greats, comparison with the careers of those players to have passed his totals were in order.

Given the greater frequency with which Tests are played being a significant contributing factor to the increased career aggregates now obtained:

  • everyone to pass Bradman’s total runs has played at least 140 innings, with 39 of the 47 playing at least 180, and
  • Test cricket has been played for 140 years. Only 5 of the 93 men to score 5,000 Test runs debuted in the first 70 years of Tests (i.e. before 1947) and 24 have debuted since 2000, with 10 playing Tests in 2017.

For the 47 men to surpass Bradman’s total runs, three measures were used:

  1. What was player X’s record after 80 innings in their career (as Bradman played),
  2. What was their record to achieve 6,997 runs (i.e. one more than Bradman),
  3. What was their record in their best stretch of 80 consecutive Test innings ?

Summaries of the results of these searches are found in the following tables:

The best 5 totals and average records of the 47 players ahead of Bradman are as follows:

  1. After their first 80 innings (most runs / best average)
Tests Inn N.O. Runs H.S. Avge 100s 50s
Bradman 52 80 10 6,996 334 99.94 29 13
V Richards 52 80 4 4,411 291 58.04 14 18
Hayden 48 80 7 4,185 380 57.33 16 12
Sobers 46 80 9 4,128 365 58.14 14 12
Hammond 49 80 9 4,096 336 57.69 13 12
Sehwag 49 80 3 4,062 309 52.75 12 12
G Chappell 46 80 13 3,724 247 55.58 13 19
47 man Average 47 80 7 3,359 222 45.81 9 17

 

  1.    To achieve 6,997 Test runs (fewest innings / best average)
Tests Inn N.O Runs H.S. Avge 100s 50s
Bradman 52 80 10 6,996 334 99.94 29 12
Hammond 80 131 16 6,997 336 60.84 22 23
Sehwag 79 134 5 6,997 319 54.24 20 23
Tendulkar 85 136 14 6,997 218 57.55 25 29
G Smith 85 137 9 6,997 277 54.66 20 28
Sangakkara 83 138 10 6,997 287 54.66 18 31
Sobers 79 139 19 6,997 365 58.31 21 27
Dravid 82 141 18 6,997 270 56.89 17 33
Ponting 89 145 20 6,997 257 55.98 22 27
47 man Average 94 159 14 6,997 263 48.14 19 33

 

  1. Best stretch of 80 consecutive Test innings (most runs / best average)
Tests Inn N.O. Runs H.S. Avge 100s 50s From Inn (*) To Inn (*)
Bradman 52 80 10 6,996 334 99.94 29 13 1 80
Ponting 46 80 13 5,052 257 75.40 19 19 104 193
Sangakkara 47 80 7 5.027 287 68.86 18 18 92 171
Lara 44 80 2 4,985 400 63.91 16 16 126 205
Sobers 49 80 12 4.969 365 73.07 18 17 28 107
Tendulkar 47 80 7 4,817 217 65.99 19 16 78 157
Kallis 44 80 14 4,711 224 71.38 18 21 113 192
Chanderpaul 46 80 20 4,199 203 69.98 14 22 172 251
47 man Average 47 80 8 4,163 262 57.68 14 18 70 149

 

(*) NOTE: From innings and To innings show the innings numbers in each player’s career which represents their best 80 consecutive innings stretch.

By way of comparison with the players of today the below table is included for those batsmen who have played in 2017 who have scored more than 5,000 test runs (alphabetical order)

Tests Inn N.O. Runs H.S. Avge 100s 50s
Bradman 52 80 10 6,996 334 99.94 29 13
Azhar Ali 62 118 8 5,129 302 46.62 14 27
Hashim Amla 109 186 14 8,578 311 49.87 28 35
Alastair Cook 147 266 15 11.629 294 46.33 31 55
Misbah-ul-Haq 75 132 20 5.222 161 46.62 10 39
Joe Root 60 110 11 5.323 254 53.76 13 32
Steve Smith 56 104 14 5,370 215 59.66 20 21
Ross Taylor 81 146 18 6,030 290 47.10 16 27
David Warner 66 123 4 5,705 253 47.94 20 24
Kane Williamson 61 110 10 5,116 242 51.16 17 25
Younis Khan 118 213 19 10,099 313 52.05 34 33

 

In terms of Test Match centuries scored, Bradman’s total of 29 was not surpassed until Sunil Gavaskar of India scored his 30th, a career best 236,  against the West Indies in December 1983 in his 99th Test match. Bradman now sits in 14th place overall. None of the batsmen ahead of Bradman have played less than 184 innings (Matthew Hayden), and Younis Khan is next on fewest innings played with 213.

Hashim Amla of South Africa will equal Bradman with his next Test ton, but no one else who played in 2017, who currently trails Bradman, has more than the 20 100s of both Australia’s Steve Smith and David Warner.

 

The overall list is currently as follows:

Tests Inn N.O. Runs H.S. Avge 100s 50s
Tendulkar 200 329 33 15,921 248 53.78 51 68
Kallis 166 280 40 13,289 224 55.37 45 58
Ponting 168 287 29 13,378 257 51.85 41 62
Sangakkara 134 233 17 12,400 319 57.40 38 52
Dravid 164 286 32 13,288 270 52.31 36 63
Gavaskar 125 214 16 10,122 236 51.12 34 45
Lara 131 232 6 11,953 400 52.88 34 48
Jayawardene 149 252 15 11,814 374 49.84 34 50
Younis Khan 118 213 19 10,099 313 52.05 34 33
S Waugh 168 260 46 10,927 200 51.06 32 50
Cook 147 266 15 11,629 294 46.33 31 55
Hayden 103 184 14 8,625 380 50.73 30 29
Chanderpaul 164 280 49 11,867 203 51.37 30 66
Bradman 52 80 10 6,996 334 99.94 29 13

 

The figures for each batsman with more than 29 Test centuries, at the time that ton no. 30 was achieved are as follows:

Tests Inn N.O. Runs H.S. Avge 100s 50s
Tendulkar 93 159 15 8,351 217 57.99 30 68
Kallis 119 200 33 9,641 224 57.33 30 58
Ponting 102 170 23 8,647 257 58.82 30 62
Sangakkara 110 187 14 9,798 319 56.64 30 52
Dravid 145 251 26 11,707 270 52.03 30 63
Gavaskar 99 174 14 8,395 236 52.47 30 45
Lara 117 205 6 10,818 400 54.36 30 48
Jayawardene 129 214 14 10,266 374 51.07 30 50
Younis Khan 100 180 17 8,814 313 54.07 30 33
S Waugh 158 247 40 10,814 200 49.20 30 50
Cook 137 245 15 10,839 294 47.13 30 55
Hayden 95 167 13 8,242 380 53.52 30 29
Chanderpaul 157 280 49 11,684 203 53.11 30 66
Bradman 52 80 10 6,996 334 99.94 29 13

 

He was more than just a batsman
He was something like a tide
He was more than just one man, he could take on any side
They always came for Bradman, cause fortune used to hide in the palm of his hand

Extract (chorus) from the song Bradman, released as the B side to Leaps and Bounds in 1987 by Paul Kelly

Comments

  1. An interesting and well-compiled piece. Thanks, Greig.

    I am an admirer of Bradman the batsman, maybe not so much Bradman the man…
    although I admit he was a man of his time.

  2. steve todorovic says:

    Brilliant and inventive statistical analysis, Greig. I knew a bit about his stats, but loved reading the comparative analysis you went into such detail with.

    Now shadows grow longer, and there’s so much more yet to be told
    But we’re not getting any younger, so let the part tell the whole….your stats tell the whole …there has never been a sportsperson in any sport in any part of the world who was so much better than the next best.

    Thanks

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