India v Sri Lanka - 2011 ICC World Cup Final

Sachin Tendulkar VS Kumar Sangakkara

The world of cricket has seen various superstars and legends. However, very few of them remained superstar even after their retirement. For example, Sir Bradman is still considered to be “The Don”. This is primarily due to the fact that no one was able to even reach close to his extraordinary records. However, are records the only best mean to measure greatness?

Well, according to his records, Sachin Tendulkar is the world’s greatest batsman. No doubt he is one of the finest batsmen, ever seen in cricket grounds. He is also “god of cricket” in the eyes of millions of his fans. But is he really at such a high place that no one can reach there? Perhaps not, at least according to numerous cricket fans who are comparing him with Sri Lankan legendary batsman Kumar Sangakkara.

sangakara

Views are different and often extreme. Some believe Sachin to be the greatest thing ever happened in Cricket, while other see him as an above average batsman who was lucky enough to play such a huge number of matches that he scored tons of runs. At times, there is also a middle ground. According to an article published in IBN Live, “Kumar Sangakkara is no less than Sachin Tendulkar”.

For starters, Sangakkara has much better average in Test matches. He scored more than 12,000 runs in 132 Test matches with an average of 58.04. On the other hand Sachin’s average is 53.78. Sachin scored a century in approximately every 4th Test inning, on average. While Kumar scored a century on every 3.5th inning. On the other hand, stats show a completely different story in one-day international matches. Sachin Tendulkar scored 18,426 runs with an average of 44.83 while Sangakkara scored 14,234 runs at an average of 41.98. Sachin’s strike rate is also better in Odis along with the number of centuries.

While talking about complete cricket performance (rather than just batting) we see Sachin Tendulkar bowling part-time and talking crucial wickets on few occasions. On the other hand, Kumar Sangakkara also played a very important role as wicket keeper for Sri Lankan team. Performance of a cricketer over a course of his career can also be assessed with reference to the number of “man of the match” awards won. So let’s have a look at these stats as well.

Sri Lankan legend won “Man of the match” award for 16 times (in 132 Tests), while Indian cricket god won the same award for 13 times (in 200 Tests). In ODIs, the same award was won 31 times by Sangakkara, while 62 times by Tendulkar. However, both these players won “Man of the series” award for four times in Test matches. The same award was won 5 times by Sangakkara while for 15 times by Tendulkar.

sachin

 

This comparison provided various stats. However, those against any such comparison argue that Kumar Sangakkara is basically a “Flat track bully” and a considerable number of his centuries are against weaker teams, such as Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. On the other hand, some people also argue that Tendulkar didn’t play very well in crucial situations.

Here is a brief table to make quick comparison between both of these legends.

  Sachin Tendulkar Kumar Sangakkara
Runs (Tests) 15,921 12,305
Average (Tests) 53.78 58.04
Matches played (Tests) 200 132
Centuries (Tests) 51 38
Fifties (Tests) 68 52
Matches Played (ODIs) 463 404
Runs (ODIs) 18,426 14,234
Average (ODIs) 44.83 41.98
Strike Rate (ODIs) 86.23 78.86
Centuries (ODIs) 49 25
Fifties (ODIs) 96 93

 

It is a rather common knowledge that global popularity of “little Master” is a lot more than any other cricketer. Social media numbers can help to understand this phenomenon. Sachin Tendulkar has approximately 25m fans on his Facebook account while 7.19m on official twitter account. On the other hand, Kumar Sangakkara has 447,000 followers in twitter and 3.8m fans on his official Facebook account.

This was a brief comparison between the two legend players. Remember that we didn’t mean to degrade any legend and we respect all sports legends. However, a diversified opinion was shared in this article. But still we are not writing any conclusion here. Depending upon your analysis and preferences, it is entirely up to you to decide who was a better batsman.

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