Monday, December 03, 2007

Murali is better than Warne - of course!

Congratulations to Murali for getting the highest ever number of test wickets (709) and passing Shane Warne.

Pundits have been comparing Warne and Murali, and most seem to think Warne is better.

But they are wrong: the numbers are clear - Murali is the better bowler.

Warne never bowled against the best batting side in the world - ie. Australia - so the two bowlers can only be compared in terms of their performances against the second rank of test match sides. These have, in recent years, been England and South Africa, followed by India and Pakistan.

Murali's performances against England, South Africa and India are significantly better than Warne's - against Pakistan Warne was slightly better than Murali. So Murali is the better bowler.

Stats from Statsguru at cricinfo.com - before the current Sri Lanka versus England Match.

South Africa: Murali 6.9 wickets per match av. 22; Warne 5.4 wickets per match av. 24

England: Murali 7.2 wickets per match av. 20; Warne 5.4 wickets per match av. 23.

India: Murali 4.5 wickets per match av. 32; Warne 3.1 wickets per match av. 47.

Pakistan: Murali 5.6 wickets per match av. 23; Warne 6 wickets per match av. 20.

PS. This analysis confirms that India have been the second-best batting side (after Australia) over the past 15 or so years.

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