Economist proves Sachin Tendulkar better than Don Bradman

“Tendulkar has played so well, and for far more innings than Bradman,” the report said Getty Images

Perth: Jan 13, 2012

An economist has rated iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar ahead of Sir Don Bradman on the basis of a ranking system that uses the economic concepts of “supernormal profit” and awards players for “consistent super performance and longevity”.

Dr Nicholas Rohde, an economist from Griffith University, has used “economic” concepts of “supernormal profit” and “opportunity cost” in his study to come up with a new ranking system to compare players across time.

Supernormal profit, in this case, refers to the extra runs a player scores that would not be scored in his absence, while opportunity cost means the expected batting average of the next-best player, the one who would replace him if he fell out of form.

“According to Rohde, because Tendulkar has consistently outscored his potential replacement across more innings, he is actually more valuable, in aggregate, than Bradman,” a report in Sydney Morning Herald said.

“The system awards players for consistent super performance and longevity. On an innings-per-innings basis, Rohde says Bradman is much more valuable than any other player (Bradman averaged a remarkable 99.94 runs per innings.

Tendulkar presently averages 56.03.

“But Tendulkar has played so well, and for far more innings than Bradman (Bradman played in only 52 matches, Sachin has just started his 187th) that it has so far worked in Tendulkar’s favour,” it said.

Rohde’s method takes the total number of runs a player scored in his career and subtracts the amount that a hypothetical “replacement player” would have scored in the same number of innings.

The “performance” of the replacement player depends on the average performance of all top batsmen of the era except the player in question. Thus, the replacement player’s “absolute value” adjusts over time to account for changes in the game, allowing players to be compared across time. (PTI)