Sri Lankan veteran Kumar Sangakkara has become the latest entrant of the 10000-run club in Tests. And while that is a massive feat in itself it is somewhat unfair that he isn’t considered amongst the best players of his generation in spite of maintaining a consistency on par with the other modern greats of the game. A statistical comparison of Sangakkara’s Test career with that of the other big names of the last decade makes a specific point in this direction. We have taken a particularly closer look at the away record of all the big names since it is the most accurate indication of their impact in the modern era.
Kumar Sangakkara: The elegant left-hander has so far featured in 115 matches and has scored his runs at an average of 55.65 with 30 hundreds and a highest score of 287. As for his away record, he has played 47 Tests away from home and averages 46.97 in these matches with 10 hundreds. His average in Australia, the best team of his generation, is 57.33. In New Zealand he averages 66.80 and in Pakistan 86.67. He hasn’t done as well in England, South Africa and India, where he averages between 30 and 36. Overall though his figures remain impressive.
Jacques Kallis: The South African all-rounder has played 158 Tests so far and has scored nearly 13000 runs with 44 hundreds at an average of 56.92, and a highest of 224. Looking at his away record, he has notched up 5919 runs in 74 Tests with 20 tons and an average of 53.80 and a highest score of 189 not out. He averages 48 in Australia, 58 in India, 55 in West Indies and 83 in Pakistan. Like Sangakkara, he hasn’t done well in England, averaging 35. He also has a similar record in Sri Lanka, averaging just over 35.
Sachin Tendulkar: Akin to Kallis, Tendulkar has an equally good record at home and away. He has played 194 Tests so far and has notched up 15645 runs with 51 tons at an average of 54.32. In away Tests, Tendulkar has amassed 8705 runs in 106 Tests with 29 hundreds and an average of 54.74. He averages 53 in Australia, 46 in South Africa, 54 in England and 49 in New Zealand. In short, he has performed well in all major Test playing nations. In that sense, he is slightly ahead of Sangakkara, but the Lankan has got bigger scores to his credit, which balances out the equation.
Ricky Ponting: The recently retired former Aussie skipper played 168 Tests and amassed over 13000 runs at an average of 51.85 with 41 hundreds. Away from home, Ponting has garnered 5360 runs in 71 Tests with 16 hundreds at an average of nearly 46. His average 44 in England, 60 in New Zealand, 46.85 in South Africa and 44 in Sri Lanka. However, his record in India, the most challenging place to tour for a foreign side, was only 26.48.
--By A Cricket Analyst