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pakistan odi batters

Written by Zain Ul Hassan 5:00 pm Articles, Pakistan, Published Content

Pakistan’s Greatest ODI Batters: A Data-Driven Journey Through Cricket History

Zain Ul Hassan presents a meticulous analysis of legendary players’ performances against top-tier bowling sides. He explores statistical insights derived from the careers of iconic cricketers such as Babar Azam, Zaheer Abbas, Misbah-ul-Haq, and others. He employs a unique metric called the “Quality Adjusted Average” to assess how these batsmen fared against formidable bowling attacks, providing readers with a nuanced understanding of their achievements.
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About the Author(s)
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Mr Zain-ul-Hassan is a cricket enthusiast, cricket data analyst, writer, and journalism school graduate.

Cricket fans in Pakistan are deeply passionate about their heroes, and the debate over the greatest ODI batters has been there for decades. Names like the elegant Zaheer Abbas, the enigmatic Javed Miandad, the powerful Inzamam-ul-Haq, and the modern marvel Babar Azam are often thrown into the arena, each with their own set of accomplishments and die-hard supporters. But who truly reigns supreme? Can mere statistics settle this emotional debate?

This article will go beyond nostalgia and blind veneration, as I will delve into data-driven sample spaces, using a unique gauge to assess these batting legends. Our weapon? A “Quality Adjusted Average”, specifically crafted to reveal which batsman excelled against the fiercest bowling attacks with details, conquering not just runs, but the odds stacked against them.

So, the “Quality Adjusted Average” is the relationship between a batter’s average against the top sides and the bowling average of those top sides against Pakistan. The ratio column acts as a relation to assess how effectively a batsman countered the quality of bowling encountered during their era. It compares the batter’s average against top-tier bowling sides with the average quality of the bowlers they faced. A higher ratio indicates superior performance relative to the quality of bowling faced.

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To some extent, we have tried to get the data of all top run-scorer batters of the Pakistan Cricket Team that too against top-tier sides of those times, Australia, England, New Zealand, India, South Africa, and West Indies. We have also collected data like the bowling average of these teams when that specific batter was playing in the XI of the Pakistan Cricket team. It will show us the quality of bowling from these countries one faced in their specific career.

Then we obtained a ratio between the batter’s career average against these teams to the overall bowling average of those teams against that specific player including the Pakistan team. This gave us the figure of quality (which we will be calling Quality Adjusted Average) one faced and how efficiently they overcame that quality. This will have a direct proportion to the batter’s performance as the higher the ratio the greater will be the batter’s skill set to overcome fierce bowling and pile runs.

Top Pakistani batters

So, now, let’s analyze them one by one.

With a remarkable batting average of 55.34 in 79 matches, Babar has consistently performed against top-tier bowling attacks. Despite facing quality opposition, his Quality Adjusted Average of 1.68 showcases his ability to dominate the best bowlers and solidifies his status as Pakistan’s premier batsman.

Although the sample space of Great Zaheer is smaller, he faced quality bowling in the time scoring around the average of 46.88 when these top sides were taking wickets at the formidable bowling average of 26.91. His Quality Adjusted Average came out as 1.74 which is more than Babar Azam’s. So, does that mean he handled the quality bowling at a better rate than Babar Azam? Yes! The stats speak the same.

As the first two positions are confirmed, who would be at the third, fourth, and fifth positions? Miandad? Inzamam? Saeed Anwar? Yousuf? The answer is none of them, but an underrated batter who was bearing the burden of Pakistan’s batting lineup in years between 2011 and 2015 with flying colors. His name is Misbah Ul Haq, with around 3000 runs in 88 matches at an average of 41.82 against these top sides when they were bowling out the opposition at an average of 26.32. Misbah has a Quality Adjust Average of 1.58.

Miandad comes in 4th position with a Quality Adjusted Average of 1.55. Apart from these 4 batters, none could overcome the quality bowling at the rate of even 1.40. The closest seems to be Fakhar Zaman who is coping with the quality of bowling at the rate of 1.38, with Yousuf, Inzamam, Imam, and Saeed behind him having Quality Adjusted Averages of 1.37, 1.35, 1.34, and 1.32 respectively.

Surprisingly, Imam has dealt with quality bowling better than what Saeed Anwar managed to do in his days against the top-tier sides. In conclusion, the given data-driven analysis unveils extraordinary insights into the greatest ODI batters of Pakistan of all time. While the debate may continue among fans, the numbers paint a different picture. Zaheer Abbas emerges as the statistical titan, with a Quality Adjusted Average surpassing even modern-day maestro Babar Azam. Misbah-ul-Haq’s underrated brilliance earns him a deserving place among the top contenders, showcasing his ability to thrive against quality bowling attacks.

Ultimately, this analysis highlights the resilience and skillset of Pakistan’s batting legends in facing formidable opposition. Each player has left an unparalleled mark on the cricketing landscape, contributing to the rich tapestry of Pakistan’s cricket history. Whether it’s the elegance of the Great Zaheer Abbas, the consistency of Babar, or the wonders of Misbah, these batters have exemplified the essence of Pakistani cricket, captivating fans with their performances on the grand stage. As the debate goes on, one thing remains clear: the legacy of these batting greats will remain steadfast for generations to come.


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