SA’s best Test batsman? For sports aficionados, it is not a hard question. The trouble is, the right answer — Graeme Pollock — turns out to be wrong. Researchers at two universities in the UK have rewritten the rankings after discovering that batting averages tell only part of the story. Based on their findings, Pollock — with an average of 60.97 in 41 innings from 1963 to 1970 — is deposed by Jacques Kallis as SA’s greatest Test batsman. And from being fourth-best in the world in the official rankings, Pollock slumps to 15th when he is compared to all 2,856 batsmen who played Test cricket for 10 countries between the first match in 1877 and the 2,259th in August 2017. Kallis, who played 280 innings between 1995 and 2013 and retired with an average score of 55.37, rises from 16th to 10th. Richard Boys from Newcastle University and Peter Philipson from Northumbria University took numerous factors into account when they built a model to rank the best Test batsmen, and have published t...

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