Friday, December 07, 2007

Sporting greatness

One of the least remarkable news stories recently has been Murali "breaking" the record for most test wickets. It's an impressive feat, but he and Warne were both breaking it while they were both still playing, the newsworthy thing happened when Warne retired. People get excited when the stock market reaches "record highs" even though it's in the nature of the thing to do so.

I've enjoyed the half hearted debate about who's the best though; rating people is fun. My feeling is that Warne is the better of the two, but looking at the numbers it's hard to see why. Murali has a better average, a better strike rate, more five wicket hauls and more 10 wicket hauls.

Of course if we still think that Warne is better we're free to descend into a discussion about the strength of the opposition, the way they "changed the game" etc. It is comforting to know that if the numbers don't tell the right story others are here to help tell a better one. It's a trick I keep up my sleeve.


Alexander The Great said...

I think there are two key things to consider

1) whether or not you think he is a chucker.
2) the fact that he was in a weaker bowling attack than Warne so could take more of the wickets, e.g. Steyn taking 20 meant Ntini took very few.

That said, I like him, and I don't like Warne... So what I say next might be watered down, but for Warne the questions are...

1) whether or not he was a cheating bastard?
2) whether or not he was a complete tosser...

Weighing all that up, I think Murali is a boytjie and the best ever spin bowler.

Stuart said...

yes, the chucking is a concern...

I personally think the weak sri-lankan bowling is very significant, but then again I would have guessed that warne had a higher strike rate, but he doesn't.

I think both the "Warne the cheat and warne the tosser" issues don't really matter much, even if they're both true.

Lex said...

Murali's eyes make him a better bowler