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Ask Rajneesh: Does the batsman's guard serve any purpose?

January 15, 2009

Loads of questions arise in your mind regarding the game of cricket and its records. Our expert cricket statistician Rajneesh Gupta will answer your questions in this regular feature.

Here are a few questions answered:

Name: Ragu Kiran J
Country: India
Question: Recently Rahul Dravid scored 8000 runs at number 3 position. He is the highest run scorer at that position. Could you please give the list of the top run-getters in each position, from No 1 to 11.

Rajneesh Gupta: Hi Raghu, Dravid has aggregated 8116 runs in 168 innings he has batted at number 3 -- at an average of 53.74. He, however, is no longer the highest run-scorer at this position. Australia's Ricky Ponting has since overtaken him.

The following table lists leading run-scorers at each batting position in Test cricket:

PositionBatsmanInnsRunsHsAvg10050
# 1Sunil Gavaskar (Ind)186851122148.082935
# 2Matthew Hayden (Aus)144735138055.272822
# 3Ricky Ponting (Aus)150824525762.463031
# 4Sachin Tendulkar (Ind)20810386248*56.143642
# 5Steve Waugh (Aus)142675420056.282429
# 6Steve Waugh (Aus)793165177*51.04616
# 7Adam Gilchrist (Aus)1003948204*46.441218
# 8Shane Warne (Aus)11320059919.09011
# 9Brett Lee (Aus)6110036420.0604
# 10Waqar Younis (Pak)484964511.8000
# 11Muttiah Muralitharan (SL)986234311.3200


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  • Name: Shyam K Bapat
    Country: India
    Question: Does the guard, which is sought by the new batsman at the crease, serve any purpose? Besides, why does he rely on the umpire for this? Can't he just go behind the stumps, locate the point of guard in comparison with the two sets of stumps and take it? Do the rules state that the guard is supposed to be given by the umpires only?

    Rajneesh Gupta: A guard gives a batsman an idea of where his stumps are. It is helpful for a batsman when he decides to leave the ball or when he shuffles across his stumps. It also helps him in deciding when to pad a ball and when not. A batsman can request his partner for the guard, or for that matter even someone from the opposing side. There is no such rule which states that the guard is supposed to be given by the umpires only.

    Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh

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