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India set to register highest run-aggregate in ODIs, but how reliant have they been on their top-5 run-getters?

India’s to-five run-getters in One-Day Internationals (from left) Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Yuvraj Singh have scored 37.08 per cent of the overall runs © Getty Images
India’s top-five run-getters in One-Day Internationals (from left) Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammad Azharuddin, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Yuvraj Singh have scored 37.08 per cent of the overall runs © Getty Images

By Aayush Puthran

One doesn’t need statistics to prove the fact that India have relied on their batsmen in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). In its 42-year history in the format, India have gone on to become the second-highest run-scoring team and could soon overtake Australia when they face South Africa in during the upcoming ODI series.

But, how much of the burden of these runs has rested on a few shoulders, and not on the rest? Let us have a look at how the Indian batsmen have fared without the services of their top five run-scorers in ODIs — Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Mohammad Azharuddin and Yuvraj Singh

Total runs

Runs scored by Top-5

Runs scored by other batsmen

Percentage runs scored by Top-5

1,70,277

58,030

1,12,247

37.08

Since Australia, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies have the highest run aggregates in ODIs, let us compare these figures with the ones of the other four teams and assess the contribution of the players apart from their respective top five run getters.

Here is the list of the highest run-getters for the following teams:

Australia – Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Mark Waugh, Michael Clarke and Steve Waugh

Pakistan – Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Saeed Anwar, Shahid Afridi and Javed Miandad

Sri Lanka – Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Aravinda De Silva and Marvan Atapattu

West Indies – Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Desmond Haynes and Viv Richards

Note: Each team has at least one batsman with more than 10,000 ODI runs to his credit. Let us look at their comparative figures in ODIs

Team

Total Runs

Runs scored by Top-5

Runs scored by other batsmen

% runs scored by Top-5

Australia

1,71,572

46,834

1,24,738

27.30

India

1, 70, 277

58, 030

1,12,247

37.08

Pakistan

1,60,468

44, 873

1,15,595

27.97

Sri Lanka

1,35,118

53,998

81,120

39.96

West Indies

1,34,888

43,183

91,705

32.01

The above table clearly indicates as to how much India has relied on the services of a few, unlike the other top teams. Only Sri Lanka have been more reliant on a group of individuals than India.

The figures are all the more compelling if you go to see the performance of the Indian players apart from the Top-5 outside home.

Here is a comparative analysis of the performance of the batsmen of the five teams in overseas conditions:

Team Total runs

Runs scored by Top-5

Runs scored by other batsmen

% runs scored by Top-5

Pakistan

1,24,448

34,724

89,724

27.92

India

1,06,360

38, 170

68,190

35.89

Sri Lanka

96,275

37,432

58,843

38.88

West Indies

92,606

30, 158

62,448

32.57

Australia

92,556

27, 438

65,118

29.64

The performance of the Indian batsmen apart from the top five run-getters is much better at home, but a comparative analysis don’t suggest anything better.

Team Total runs Runs scored by Top-5 Runs scored by other batsmen % runs scored by Top-5
Australia

79,016

19,396

59,620

24.55

India

63,917

19, 860

44,057

31.07

West Indies

42,282

13,025

29,257

30.81

Sri Lanka

38,843

16,566

22,277

42.65

Pakistan

36,020

10,149

25,871

28.18

Apart from India’s top five ODI run-scorers, Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Ajay Jadeja are the other Indian batsmen to score more than 5,000 runs in ODIs. Thus, if those figures are added, there isn’t much to speak about the rest.

So how strong has India’s batting really been if their contribution is to be kept aside?

(Aayush Puthran is a reporter with CricketCountry. Mercurially jovial, pseudo pompous, perpetually curious and occasionally confused, he is always up for a light-hearted chat over a few cups of filter kaapi!)

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