The controversies are back!

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 22, 2011 11:58 hrs

The IPL has been quiet for some time, but slowly and steadily the controversies have started raging with various boards.

The first concerns the Proteas. It seems that the IPL paid bonuses to Cricket South Africa worth millions, which have gone "missing"? This relates to the 2009 season, when the IPL was shifted to South Africa.

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Then there's the Sri Lankan board which threatened to recall its players bang in the middle of the IPL. As the confrontation went on and Lanka talked tough, the BCCI hinted at holding back salaries. And finally, the Sri Lankan board succumbed to BCCI's financial might. 

Then there's Lasith Malinga, who feels fit enough to play for IPL, but not for the upcoming England tour.

Then there's Chris Gayle, who blasted the West Indies board and said he felt "disrespected" and compelled to choose IPL over the tour with Pakistan. How will the PCB react to that?

Then there's the new spidercam technology, a camera which hovers above and gives a great view to gushing fans. Players are not impressed however, saying that it's nothing but a distraction for fielders in particular.

There's also a never a dull moment when Sourav "Dada" Ganguly is around. Will he stay as commentator? Will he become a player? Will he become a captain? Or will he become a coach for Bangladesh? Dada's career can never get truly over.

Finally, there's the Duckworth-Lewis method. It has received a lot of flak in ODIs, but is it worse in the T20 world? For one, D/L looks at the historic records of a huge number of recent ODI matches to calculate the formula. But the IPL has been around for just three seasons before this one, so how reliable is the small base?

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T20 is also a different ball game altogether, where even with lesser wickets in hand in the final stages it's possible to chase down a huge score.

Sachin's centuries and victories

There is a myth which surfaces from time to time that whenever Sachin Tendulkar scores a century, India loses the match.

This proved eerily true when in the World Cup, we won 7/7 matches in which Sachin didn't score a ton and 0/2 matches in which he did (one loss and one tie). To make matters worse, the only century he has ever scored in the IPL went for a losing cause.

Mumbai Indians made a fine 182, thanks to Sachin's 100 but found their score being overhauled with 8 wickets and 1 over to spare by upstarts Kochi Tuskers Kerala.

But how true is the myth and what do the statistics say?

Out of his 48 ODI centuries, 33 have gone for a winning cause! That's a high 69%!

But the only way understand this is to compare it with other high century scorers. For Ricky Ponting, it's 25/30 or 83%. For Sanath Jayasuriya it's 24/28 or 86%. For Ganguly, it's 18/22 or 82%. So clearly he has the least conversion rate to victory among the Top 5, with even Herschelle Gibbs and Saeed Anwar having a higher percentage. 

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In Tests, the situation is even more bleak. Sachin's century victory rate is a mere 39%. For Ponting it's 72%! Now you might argue that Australia generally won more matches than India in the last 20 years, so it's not a fair comparison.

Take another contemporary. Take an erratic team like Pakistan.

Inzamam-ul-Haq's century victory conversion rate is 68%.

You can also turn this around and ask how many times does a team lose when a particular player scores a century (since there are such a huge number of draws to skew the statistics). In this case he can be compared to his contemporary, the under rated Rahul "Wall" Dravid who always lived in Sachin's shadow.

Fact: Out of Sachin's 51 centuries, 11 have gone for losing causes.

Question: How many times has India lost when Dravid hit his 30 Test centuries?

Answer: (Hold your breath!) Zero!

So the rule is actually: Whenever Dravid scores a Test century, we can never lose a match.

Howzat for the greatest centurion that India has ever produced?

(Note: If you check the record books then you'll see that he has 31 centuries. That's because he made one for the ICC World XI which was defeated by Australia! That's his only loss, but none for India.)

The author is a Bangalore-based journalist.

He blogs at http://sunilrajguru.com/