The average of a batsman is the best indicator of the consistency of the batsman. Not everyone can play good all the time but a good batsman will certainly have good average. Here are the top 10 Asian batsmen who have the highest average outside Asia.
10. Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) – 39.0
With his relentless aggression, strong wrists and natural timing, Tillakaratne Dilshan is one of the most exciting batsmen in the game today. He is technically sound, but, much like Virender Sehwag, he uses the defensive option only as a last resort, after all the attacking alternatives have been explored.
He loves to make room and thrash the ball through the off side, but the stroke that bears his signature more than any other is the one he developed for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 – the eponymously named “Dilscoop” shot over his head, which confounded bowlers and experts alike. He has scored 9401 runs and 5492 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 307 and 87 matches. His average was 39.00 and 40.98 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 3544 runs from 108 innings.
9. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) – 39.3
As soon as he broke into the side at the age of 22, while a law student, it was apparent that Kumar Sangakkara was destined for more than just batting stardom. The left-handers that had preceded him, like Arjuna Ranatunga and Asanka Gurusinha, had been pugnacious battlers but Sangakkara was cut from more graceful cloth, easing into strokes with the elegance often associated with those that play with the ‘other’ hand.
He has scored 13693 runs and 12203 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 397 and 130 matches. His average was 40.99 and 58.66 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 5185 runs from 150 innings.
8. Sachin Tendulkar (India) – 40.8
Sachin Tendulkar has been the most complete batsman of his time, the most prolific run-maker of all time, and arguably the biggest cricket icon the game has ever known. His batting was based on the purest principles: Perfect balance, economy of movement, precision in stroke-making, and that intangible quality given only to geniuses – anticipation.
He has scored 18426 runs and 15921 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 463 and 200 matches. His average was 44.83 and 53.78 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 6389 runs from 171 innings.
7. Zaheer Abbas (Pakistan) – 41.2
Zaheer Abbas was a stylish, elegant batsman. In full flow, he was a sight for sore eyes. His avarice for runs matched that of the Australian legend, and that was why he was dubbed the Asian Bradman. High praise indeed for there have been many greats but none matches the aura of the Don.
He has scored 2572 runs and 5062 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 62 and 78 matches. His average was 47.62 and 44.79 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 1194 runs from 32 innings.
6. Sourav Ganguly (India) – 41.3
Sourav Ganguly’s ability to polarize opinion led to one of the most fascinating dramas in Indian cricket. Yet, nobody can dispute that he was India’s most successful Test captain – forging a winning unit from a bunch of talented, but directionless, individuals – and nobody can argue about him being one of the greatest one-day batsmen of all time.
He has scored 11363 runs and 7212 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 311 and 113 matches. His average was 41.02 and 42.17 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 4919 runs from 131 innings.
5. Mohammad Yousuf (Pakistan) – 42.2
This much is at least certain that few Pakistani batsmen have been as elegant as Mohammad Yousuf and fewer still have been as prolific, as hungry to bat as long and bat as big. At his best, watching Yousuf bat is an unnervingly tranquil experience, especially amid the traditional chaos of a Pakistan batting order.
He has a dangerously high back-lift, which makes every shot he plays, a late, unhurried afterthought, but a beautiful one. He has scored 9720 runs and 7530 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 288 and 90 matches. His average was 41.71 and 52.29 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 4090 runs from 115 innings.
4. MS Dhoni (India) – 42.5
Barring Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni is arguably the most popular and definitely the most scrutinized cricketer from India. He has done so coming from the cricketing backwaters, the mining state of Jharkhand, and through a home-made batting and wicket-keeping technique, and a style of captaincy that scales the highs and lows of both conservatism and unorthodoxy.
Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India has won the top prize in all formats: the No.1 Test ranking for 18 months starting December 2009, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the World Twenty20 on his captaincy debut in 2007. He has scored 8262 runs and 4874 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 254 and 90 matches. His average was 52.29 and 38.09 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 2473 runs from 75 innings.
3. Gautam Gambhir (India) – 43.6
Feisty and firm, capricious and correct, insatiable and insecure, Gautam Gambhir was one of the most complete batsmen between 2008 and the 2011 World Cup. He opened well in all three forms of the game. He could be more aggressive than Virender Sehwag, played the kind of back-to-the-wall innings that would do Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman proud, and accumulated without taking any risks, much like Sachin Tendulkar has been doing in the last quarter of his career.
He has scored 5238 runs and 4046 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 147 and 56 matches. His average was 39.68 and 42.58 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 1264 runs from 34 innings.
2. Virat Kohli (India) – 43.7
A typical modern-day cricketer, Virat Kohli plays his game aggressively, bares his emotions loudly in public, yet retains the element of maturity that forms an integral part of every good and great player. Anil Kumble said he had thought hard before calling Kohli the best under-22 player in international cricket – that would rate as perhaps the best compliments he has received.
It is also proof of Kohli’s transformation as a player. He has scored 6232 runs and 2547 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 150 and 33 matches. His average was 51.50 and 46.30 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 2143 runs from 57 innings.
1. Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan) – 60.7
The most remarkable aspect about Misbah-ul-Haq is his unflappable temperament. It shows in his batting, which reached unprecedented levels of consistency in 2011, and in his captaincy, which helped lift Pakistan from the depths of the spot-fixing saga in England in 2010. Taking over as leader immediately after that episode at the age of 36, Misbah’s calm approach was exactly what Pakistan cricket needed after the tumultuous period it had gone through.
He has scored 4772 runs and 3736 runs in ODI and Test matches respectively from 155 and 53 matches. His average was 42.99 and 49.15 in ODI and Test match respectively in his career. Outside Asia he scored 1820 runs from 44 innings.