Excerpts from the four Impact Index book launch panel discussions with Aakash Chopra, VVS, Laxman, Sanjay Manjrekar, R Ashwin, Matthew Hayden, Zaheer Khan, Harsha Bhogle, Kapil Dev, Amrit Mathur and Impact Index founder Jaideep Varma.
While his performance overseas will be monitored, one cannot deny the phenomenal start to R Ashwin's Test career. But just how high impact is he, you wonder? Well, wonder no more. Find out more here.
Younis Khan's phenomenal run over the last two years not only helped Pakistan claim the number one Test ranking, but also made him the highest impact Asian Test batsman ever. Find out more here.
Graeme Smith's batting technique often raised eyebrows. The eyesore and the under-50 batting average notwithstanding, Biff's stature is legendary. But what makes him so significant? Find out more here.
While he changed the way Test openers are perceived, and the expectation people had, one can't help but wonder if Virender Sehwag succumbed to the pressure of expectation! Find out more here.
Chris Gayle's batting heroics have wowed many. He holds quite a few records in the shortest format of the game and is widely considered as the greatest batsman in Twenty20 cricket. Yet, he lags behind in what is - perhaps - the most important parameter. In fact, as many as 34 batsmen are better than him in that aspect. What is it? Find out more here.
Samuel Badree has often been in Sunil Narine's shadow. He hasn't made a mark in the IPL either. Yet, Badree is the highest impact player in the history of Twenty20 cricket - a format more renowned for batsmen. No, it isn't as bizarre as you probably make it to be. Find out more here.
Despite the conspicuous difference in batting average, Richie Richardson had almost the same impact as Sir Viv Richards on West Indies' Test history. Find out more here.
Ian Bishop played just 43 Tests for West Indies, and yet finished higher impact than his two illustrious colleagues - Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh. Find out more here.
Was anyone really higher impact than Don Bradman and Garry Sobers? The answer is yes. Find out more here.
One of the most important batsmen in India's Test cricket history. Why is he not remembered? Perhaps it is because he played 37 Tests, scored a solitary century and averaged a paltry 31. Find out more here.
He played 67 matches and claimed 73 wickets, and is India's second-highest impact bowler in One Day International cricket. Why? How come? Think 'big performances'. Find out more here.
He is remembered for his captaincy, and for playing the sport with one eye. He played 46 Tests and averaged 35. Yet, he was the best in the world - at something never accomplished in Test cricket history. Numbers couldn't lie more. Find out more here.
Quiz people about noteworthy Indian batting performances in the 1983 World Cup and the most likely responses will be Kapil Dev's 175 not out (that it came in an inconsequential match is lost on people), or Mohinder Amarnath's performances in the semifinal and final, or even K Srikkanth's innings in the final. India’s highest impact batsman in that tournament, however, was someone else. Find out more here.
Shakib Al Hasan represents a relatively weak international team. In ODI cricket, he averages 35 with the bat and 28 with the ball. Yet, there is no better all-rounder in ODI cricket today. Flabbergasted? Find out more here.
The central parameter to judge the greatest Indian Test batsman is never spoken about. Rather than runs and centuries scored, or various averages, it is the ability to help the team win series. So... Which Indian Test batsman has won his team the most series? Find out more here.
Matthew Hayden was part of an all-time great Test team - one that featured Steve Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist, Justin Langer, Damien Martyn, Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey. Three of them had a higher batting average than him, and two had more centuries. Yet, Hayden finished higher impact than his batting teammates - including Waugh and Ponting. Find out more here.
As a youngster, Inzamam realised the value of 'playing for the team'; he saw Imran Khan back those who did, even if they scored a middling twenty, as opposed to those who didn't even when they scored big. Not surprisingly, Inzy went on to become the biggest series-winning batsman - not just for Pakistan, but in Test cricket history. Find out more here.
Part of the famous, original pace quartet, Colin Croft was widely considered a support act when he was in fact the lead bowler during his career. Yes, lead bowler, with august company in the form of Holding, Garner and Roberts. Croft played the least number of Tests and yet, amongst them, had the highest impact. Bewildered? Find out more here.
Ask anyone what they remember from the 2011 World Cup and the most likely responses will be Dhoni's winning six, Yuvraj's heroics, Sehwag's pyrotechnics, Gambhir's innings in the final, or even Tendulkar's centuries. No one, however, remembers the crucial contributions by someone who was just getting established in the Indian team then. Find out more here.