7:44 PM IST
S RajeshStats editor, ESPNcricinfo
- S Rajesh is ESPNcricinfo’s stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
Shakib Al Hasan turns 33 today. He is currently serving a one-year ban for not reporting suspected match-fixing approaches, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he is one of the best allrounders to play all formats of the game, and arguably the best cricketer Bangladesh have ever produced. Here are some numbers to show why:
Batting average minus bowling average
This is always a good measure to evaluate the quality of an allrounder, especially in Test cricket, where scoring rates/economy rates usually don’t matter as much. With a batting average of 39.4 and a bowling average of 31.12, Shakib is easily the best among the current crop of allrounders with a difference of 8.27; Ben Stokes is next with a difference of 3.86. Going back to the beginning of 2000, only Jacques Kallis is ahead of Shakib, among allrounders who have scored 2000 runs and taken 100 wickets.
Even if you go back further for an all-time list with the same cut-offs, Shakib still finds a place among the elite. Only five allrounders have a higher difference between the batting and bowling averages. And here is a selection of those he leaves behind: Tony Greig (difference 8.23), Ian Botham (5.14), Richard Hadlee (4.86), Chris Cairns (4.13) and Kapil Dev (1.4).
He is among the best in ODIs based on this parameter. Like in Tests, only five players have a higher differential between batting and bowling averages.
The ultimate Test match performance
To score a century and take ten wickets in a Test is one of the toughest acts in cricket, as it calls for one to play the lead role in at least two – and often three – innings of a match. Ten times as many triple-hundreds have been scored in Tests as an allrounder achieving this rare double.
Against Zimbabwe in Khulna, Shakib joined an elite club that includes only Ian Botham and Imran Khan, when he scored 137 in Bangladesh’s first innings, and returned figures of 5 for 80 and 5 for 44 to spin Bangladesh to a 162-run win, in the process achieving something that hadn’t been done in over 31 years.
Here are more numbers to prove (if more proof is necessary) that Shakib belongs among the very best allrounders in all formats:
Shakib is the quickest to achieve the double of 3000 runs and 200 wickets in Tests. He achieved the mark in his 54th Test, one quicker than Botham.
Since his ODI debut on August 6, 2006, only three players – Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan – have won more Man-of-the-Match awards than Shakib’s 21.
Shakib is one of only five players to achieve the double of 5000 runs and 250 wickets in ODIs. The others are Kallis, Abdul Razzaq, Sanath Jayasuriya and Shahid Afridi.
He ranks among the top three in terms of runs scored and wickets taken for Bangladesh in each of the three formats.
With inputs from Bharath Seervi