Sehwag versus Tendulkar

Though he hasn’t formally retired yet, given that he is hopelessly out of form, one can probably conclude that Virender Sehwag is unlikely to play for India again, and hence it is time to pay tribute.

I have developed a little visualization where I plot the trajectories of a batsman’s innings based on his past records. There are basically two plots – in the first, I track the expected number of runs he would have scored as a function of the number of balls he has faced. In the second, I plot the probability of the batsman still batting as a function of the number of balls faced.

I’ve created an interactive visualization using the Shiny Server plugin for R, on a little Digital Ocean server that I’ve leased. In this application, you can compare the innings trajectories of different players in different formats. I have taken my raw ball by ball data for this application from cricsheet and have analyzed and visualized the data using R.

Having built this “app”, I was playing around with random combinations of players and formats, and soon started comparing Sachin Tendulkar with Virender Sehwag. Medium-timers like me might remember that back when Sehwag started out in the early 2000s, he was called “the clone” for his batting style was extremely similar to that of Sachin Tendulkar. That they are both short and chubby also helped fuel this comparison. One thing that sets Sehwag apart, though, is his sheer pace of scoring, especially in Test matches.

So while playing around with the “app”, when I loaded Sehwag and Tendulkar together, I noticed one interesting thing – Sehwag in Test matches plays exactly like how Tendulkar plays in ODIs, and Sehwag in ODIs plays like Tendulkar does in T20s (data includes IPL  games). Check out the graphs for yourselves!




I’m not sure how much load my small server can take so I’m not putting the link to the app here. However, if you think you’ll find this interesting and will want to play with it, write to me and I’ll send you the link.

6 thoughts on “Sehwag versus Tendulkar”

  1. Hey, seems you have prepared some great algorithm here. I too am preparing one. Can you please tell if it is based on multinomial logit or anything else ?

  2. Saw your analysis when Hari S shared it on FB. I think it would be interesting to compare Sehwag and Tendulkar post 2000 only since Tendulkar played for almost a decade before Sehwag during which run rates used to be much lower.

    Also, could you please share your code?

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